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"  Alligabant  gravia  et  non  ferenda  onera,  et  collo  hominum  appendebant  ea ;  ipsi 
autem  vel  uno  digito  noluerunt  tangere  ilia." — Matih.  c.  xxiii,  v.  4. 

"  Qua  autem  mensura  mensi  fuerunt,  eadem  reraetiebatur  illis." — Mark,  e.  iv,  v.  24. 

"  Omnia  igitur,  quae  vultis,  ut  homines  faciant  vobis,  vos  pariter  facite  illis ;  hoo 

enim  fundamento  niiuntur  lex  et  prophalS?"1— JHBMWI 

ii,  v.  12. 


JUL  8  1953 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES 




Befobe  two  years  ago,  the  attention  of  the  civilized  world  has 
been  directed  with  lively  interest  towards  the  progress  of  the  war  in 
Hungary.  The  spectacle  of  a  gallant  people,  fighting  against  the 
gigantic  powers  of  Austria  and  Russia,  being  strenuously  exerted  for 
months  in  what  appeared  to  be  a  vain  attempt  to  crush  them,  was 
enough  to  awaken  the  warmest  sympathies  of  the  lovers  of  freedom 
all  over  the  globe.  The  accounts  which  reached  this  country  from 
the  distant  scene  of  conflict,  were  various  and  conflicting,  but  on  the 
whole  so  favorable  to  the  cause  of  the  insurgents,  that  when  the  news 
at  last  arrived  of  their  final  and  entire  discomfiture,  it  excited  as  much 
disappointment  as  regret.  It  was  evident  that  the  preceding  accounts 
of  astonishing  victories  gained  by  the  Hungarians  over  vastly  superior 
forces  had  been  grossly  exaggerated  ;  even  they  had  been  entire  fabrica- 
tions. The  theatre  of  the  struggle  was  near  the  eastern  confines  of 
civilized  Europe,  and  all  the  -'ntelligence  which  came  to  us  from  that 
distant  region  had  been  filtered  through  German  and  French  news- 
papers, and  colored  by  the  various  hopes  and  purposes  of  those  who 
disseminated  the  reports  with  the  intent  of  affecting  public  opinion  by 
them,  and  of  gaining  sympathy  and  aid  for  one  or  the  other  of  the 
contending  parties.  As  we  have  rejoiced  over  victories  which  had 
never  been  gained  save  in  the  excited  imaginations  of  those  who  re- 
ported them,  it  is  worth  while  to  look  a  little  more  closely  into  the 
nature  and  causes  of  the  war,  and  to  ascertain  if  the  motives  and  aims 
of  the  belligerents  have  not  been  as  much  misrepresented  as  their 
actions.  The  Hungarian  question  is  a  very  simple  one — and  as  the 


decision  of  it  is  likely  to  have  an  important  influence  upon  the  politics 
of  Europe  for  a  long  period  to  come,  an  attempt  to  render  it  more 
intelligible  may  be  useful  and  interesting  even  on  this  side  of  the 
Atlantic.  We  depend  for  information  on  Mr.  Degerando's  book — on 
a  series  of  excellent  articles  contributed  by  E.  de  Langsdorff — on  the 
Revue  de  Deux  Mondes  of  Mr.  Desprez — on  Tableaux  des  Guerres 
d'idiome|  et  de  nationalitel  publics  par  Mr.  Paul  de  Bourgoing, 
Ancien  Ministre  de  France  en  Russie  et  en  Allemagne,  Paris,  1849 — 
and  on  other  most  distinguished  authorities. 

Though  the  war  in  Hungary  began  as  early  as  September,  1848,  a 
Declaration  of  Independence  was  not  adopted  by  the  Hungarian  Diet 
till  the  middle  of  April,  1849.  In  the  intervening  months,  though 
much  blood  was  shed  and  the  contest  was  waged  with  great  exaspera- 
tion on  both  sides,  it  had  the  aspect  of  a  civil  war  between  different 
portions  of  the  same  empire,  the  weight  of  imperial  authority  being 
thrown  alternately  on  either  side,  according  as  the  vicissitudes  of  th.9 
conflict  caused  the  one  or  the  other  party  to  adopt  a  position  v  hic'i 
Was  more  favorable  to  the  interests  of  the  empire.  Thus,  Jellachich. 
and  his  army  were  at  first  denounced  as  rebels ;  and  after  the  Sclavonic 
rebellion  in  Bohemia  had  been  crushed  by  the  bombardment  of  Prague, 
the  Austrian  marshal  Hrabowski  commenced  a  campaign  against  the 
favorers  of  that  rebellion  in  Croatia  and  Sclavonia  also,  while  the 
Hungarians,  acting  on  the  side  of  the  imperialists,  menaced  the  same 
countries  with  invasion  from  the  north.  But  the  Austrian  cabinet  soon 
found  that  Jellachich  was  less  to  be  dreaded  than  Kossuth,  and  that 
the  Sclavonians  were  disposed  to  be  more  loyal  subjects  than  the 
Magyars.  By  a  sudden  shift  of  policy,  therefore,  the  Croats  were 
taken  into  favor,  and  theii  redoubtable  Ban  at  the  head  of  his  army 
was  commissioned  by  the  emperor  to  put  down  the  insurrection  in 
Hungary.  Still  the  Hungarians  did  not  declare  their  independence  of 
Austria  till  the  young  emperor  proclaimed  a  new  and  very  liberal  con- 
stitution for  all  his  subjects,  of  whatever  race,  language,  or  province, 
in  March,  1849.  In  this  instrument  it  was  formally  declared,  that 
"  all  tribes  have  an  equality  of  rights,  and  each  tribe  has  an  inviolable 
right  to  preserve  and  foster  its  nationality  and  language"  The  Hun- 
garians proper,  or  the  Magyars,  had  no  sooner  heard  these  words,  than 
foreseeing  how  popular  they  would  be  with  the  Sclavonians,  the  Wal- 
lachians,  and  the  Saxons,  to  whom  they  secured  emancipation  from 
the  sovereign  sway  and  masterdom  which  the  Magyars  had  exercised 
over  them  for  centuries,  than  they  forthwith  declared  their  own  inde- 
pendence of  Austria  for  the  sole  purpose  of  retaining  these  races  in 
their  former  state  of  subjection  and  dependence.     The  declaration 

THE    WAK    OF    RACES   IN    HUNGARY.  5 

which  they  issued,  consequently,  was  not  so  much  a  declaration  of 
their  own  independence,  (already  amply  secured  by  the  concessions  of 
the  emperor  a  year  before,  concessions  which  made  the  connection  of 
Hungary  with  Austria  merely  nominal,)  as  a  protest  against  the  inde- 
pendence of  Croatia  and  Sclavonia.  Its  object  was  not  to  justify  the 
rebellion  of  Hungary  against  Austria,  but  to  accuse  Croatia  of  rebelling 
against  Hungary,  and  to  criminate  the  emperor  for  favoring  that  rebel- 
lion. The  Magyars  assumed  the  position,  therefore,  of  a  nation  striv- 
ing to  impose  or  to  continue  the  yoke  upon  the  necks  of  their  own 
dependents,  instead  of  laboring  to  throw  off"  a  yoke  from  their  own 
shoulders.  It  suited  the  haughty  and  imperious  spirit  of  this  aristo- 
cratic race  to  bring  this  accusation  against  their  hereditary  monarch 
of  favoring  a  set  of  rebels  against  their  own  sovereignty.  Their  com- 
plaint  reminds  us  of  the  feudal  barons  chiding  their  king  for  emanci- 
pating the  commons,  and  thus  erecting  a  barrier  against  the  tyranny 
tf  the  nobles. 

The  war  in  Hungary,  then,  on  the  part  of  the  Magyars,  was  neither 
a  struggle  for  national  independence,  nor  an  attempt  to  establish  a 
repul  lie  on  the  wreck  of  their  ancient  monarchical  and  aristocratic 
institutions,  JHungary  is  the  most  aristocratic  nation  in  Europe; 
nowhere  else  are  the  distinctions  and  immunities  of  the  nobles' so 
8trongIymarEed7  or  the  nobles  themselves  so- numerous  in  comparison 
wi  h  the  whole  population,  or  the  dividing  lines  between  the  privileged 
and  unprivileged  classes  preserved  with  so  much  care.  The  fourth 
resolution  appended  to  the  Declaration  of  Independence,  expressly 
provides,  that  "the  form  of  government  to  be  adopted  for  the  future 
shall  be  fixed  by  the  Diet  of  the  nation,"  in  both  branches  of  which 
the  representatives:  of  the  titled  and  untitled  nobility  have  a  great 
superiority  of  numbers,  and  exercise  undisputed  control ;  where,  in 
fact,  till  within  a  few  years,  the  third  estate,  or  the  commons,  were 
hardly  represented  at  all ;  and  to  which,  even  now,  the  peasants,  who 
constitute  four-fifths  of  the  population,  do  not  send  a  single  represen- 
tative. The  resolution  goes  on  to  say,  that  "  until  this  point  shall  be 
decided,  on  the  basis  of  the  ancient  and  received  pri?iciples  which  have 
been  recognized  for  ages,  [that  is,  acknowledging  the  absolute  supre- 
macy of  the  Magyar  race  in  the  country  which  they  conquered,  and 
where  they  have  been  lords  of  the  soil  and  the  dominant  nation  for 
twelve  centuries,]  the  government  of  the  united  countries,  their  pos- 
sessions and  dependencies,  shall  be  conducted  on  the  personal  respon- 
sibility, and  under  the  obligation  to  render  an  account  of  all  his  acts, 
by  Louis  Kossuth."  In  short,  a  temporary  dictatorship  was  establish- 
ed, absolute  power  being  confided,  not  to  a  military  commander,  a 

6  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

course  which  the  pressing  exigencies  of  the  war  might  well  have  jus- 
tified,— but  to  a  civilian,  who  was  to  exercise  all  the  authority  which, 
in  a  republican  insurrection,  is  usually  delegated  to  a  legislative  as- 
sembly f  — C.   *"\ 

The  Croatians  and  other  Sclavonians  are  not  the  only  people,  who, 
in  this  singular  Declaration  of  Independence,  are  denounced  as  rebels. 
One  of  the  charges  specified  in  it  against  the  imperial  government  is, 
that  "  the  traitorous  commander"  in  Transylvania  "  stirred  up  the  Wal- 
lachian  peasants  to  take  arms  against  their  own  constitutional  rights, 
and,  aided  by  the  rebellious  Servian  hordes,  commenced  a  war  of  Van- 
dalism and  extinction."  Here,  as  in  other  passages,  this  remarkable 
document  bears  less  resemblance  to  the  declaration  of  a  people  who 
have  risen  in  arms  against  their  rulers  to  vindicate  their  liberties,  than 
to  a  manifesto  of  those  rulers  intended  to  censure  and  subdue  such  in- 
surrection. It  is  an  appeal  to  the  ancient  institutions  of  the  country;  a 
vindication  of  the  just  authority  of  the  governors  over  the  governed  ;  a 
reproof  of  rebellion.  How  the  Hungarians  could  be  engaged  in  a 
a  contest  at  the  same  time  with  their  hereditary  sovereign  and  with  their 
own  rebellious  subjects,  is  the  problem  which  we  seek  to  solve  by  in- 
vestigating the  former  position  of  the  parties  in  respect  to  each  other, 
and  the  circumstances  out  of  which  the  war  arose. 

Hungary,  with  a  territory  no  larger  than  that  of  Virginia  and  North 
Carolina  united,  has  a  population  of  about  ten  millions  and  a  half, 
made  up  of  at  least  half  a  dozen  distinct  races,  who  speak  as  many 
different  languages  and  dialects.  Among  these,  the  Magyars,  who 
are  the  dominant  race,  and  have  long  owned  all  the  soil  and  held  the 
whole  political  power  of  the  country  in  their  hands,  number  about 
4,200,000.  The  Sclavonians  are  rather  more  numerous,  but  are  di- 
vided into  many  distinct  tribes,  which  inhabit  different  portions  of  the 
country,  and  speak  what  was  originally  one  language ;  the  several 
Sclavonic  dialects  have  marked  peculiarities,  yet  do  not  differ  so  wide- 
ly but  that  the  different  tribes  can  understand  each  other.  The  Slo- 
wacks,  who  inhabit  the  north  of  Hungary,  and  number  about  2,200,- 
000,  seem  most  nearly  allied  to  the  Czeehs  of  Bohemia,  another  Scla- 
vonic tribe  who  began  the  recent  revolutionary  movement  in  the  dis- 
jointed empire  of  Austria.  The  Rusniaks,  a  third  Sclavonic  tribe,  are 
300,000  in  number.  The  inhabitants  of  Croatia,  who  are  of  the  Scla- 
vonic race,  number  about  700,000 ;  and  there  are  as  many  more  of  the 
Servians,  of  the  same  descent,  who  live  within  the  borders  of  Hungary. 
Add  to  the  Magyars  and  the  Sclavonians  about  one  million  of  Ger- 
mans, another  million  of  Wallachians,  250  000  Jews,  and  a  few  thou- 
sand Greeks,  Armenians,  and  Gipsies,  and  you  have  the  heterog'ne- 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  7 

ous  population  of  Hungary  proper.  The  population  of  Transylvania, 
which  has  long  been  a  dependency  of  Hungary,  and  was  united  with 
it  in  the  recent  war,  consists  of  260,000  Magyars,  260,000  Szeklers,  a 
rude  tribe  allied  to  the  Magyars,  250,000  Germans,  and  1,300,000 
Wallachians.  On  the  Military  Frontier,  again,  there  are  nearly  700,- 
000  Croats,  200,000  Servians,  200,000  Germans,  and  100,000  Wal- 
lachians.  Taken  in  its  largest  sense,  therefore,  Hungary  has  a  popu- 
lation of  about  fourteen  millions,  of  whom  less  than  one  third  are 
Magyars,  rather  more  than  a  third  are  Sclavonians,  one  sixth  are  Wal- 
lachians,  and  only  one  twelfth  are  Germans.  The  prevailing  languages, 
of  course,  are  the  Magyar,  the  Sclavonic  in  all  its  dialects,  the  Ger- 
man, and  the  Wallachian,  no  one  of  which  has  any  affinity  with  an- 

There  is  a  great  diversity  of  religious  faith,  as  of  a  language  and 
race,  among  this  singular  population.  The  Wallachians  are  nearly  all 
of  the  Greek  church,  more  than  half  of  them,  however,  being  schis- 
matics. Most  of  the  Sclavonians  are  Romanists,  and  the  Catholic  is 
the  established  church  in  Croatia,  where  no  protestant  can  hold  an  of- 
fice under  government.  The  Germans  are  chiefly  Lutherans,  and 
nearly  half  of  the  Magyars  are  Calvinists.  The  Unitarian  is  one  of 
the  three  established  churches  of  Transylvania,  having  been  introduced 
into  that  country  by  a  queen  of  Poland  in  the  sixteenth  century: 
though  th^Wallachiansj  form  nearly  two  thirds  of  the  population  of 
the  duchy,  their  church,  which  is  the  Greek,  is  only  tolerated. 

The  dominant  races,  or  „"  sovereign  nations,"  as  they  call  them- 
selves, have  labored  to  render  their  supremacy  as  conspicuous  as  pos- 
sible ;  in  their  ordinary  employments  and  in  military  service,  in  the 
civil,  political,  and  religious  institutions  of  the  country,  the  dividing  line 
between  them  and  the  "  subject  nations"  is  very  broadly  marked.  This 
distinction,  so  universal  and  conspicuous,  having  been  acknowledged 
and  uncontested  for  centuries,  has  prevented  any  amalgamation  of  the 
different  races  with  each  other ;  and  thus  the  Magyars,  the  Wallach- 
ians, the  Saxons,  and  the  Sclavonians  have  lived  forages  side  by 
side,  each  preserving  their  own  language,  religion,  occupation,  habits, 
and  all  their  national  characteristics  as  distinct  and  broadly  separated 
from  each  other  as  they  were  when  the  fortunes  of  war  and  the  migra- 
ting propensities  of  their  ancestors  first  brought  them  in  contact,  and 
established  them  on  the  same  soil.  The  subject  nations,  both  Wallach- 
ian and  Sclavonic,  are  a  rude  and  uneducated  people,  who  have  never 
been  able  to  acquire  the  languages  of  their  masters,  which  are  funda- 
mentally different  from  their  own ;  and  this  circumstance  alpne  has 
raised  an  insuperable  bar  to  intercourse  between  them.    They  are  also, 

8  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY, 

for  the  most  part,  of  a  mild  and  unambitious  disposition,  patient  and 
laborious,  and  firmly  attached  to  the  customs  of  their  ancestors.  They 
are  the  aborigines  of  the  country,  the  first  possessors  of  the  soil  upon 
which  the  Huns,  the  Turks,  the  Magyars,  and  the  Germans  have  sub- 
sequently  established  themselves  by  right  of  conquest.  Submission 
and  inferiority  have  been  enforced  upon  them  through  so  many  gene- 
erations,  that  they  have  become  the  badges  of  their  tribe ;  and  it  is 
only  within  a  few  years  that  the  idea  of  resistance,  or  the  possibility 
of  asserting  an  equality  of  rights,  has  even  occurred  to  them. 

Here  in  America,  where  emigrants  coming  to  us  from  all  the  na- 
tions of  Europe,  and  submitting  themselves  to  the  crucible  of  our  re- 
publican institutions,  are  fused  in  the  course  of  one  or  two  generations 
into  one  homogeneous  mass,  different  languages,  temperaments,  habits, 
and  characters,  all  blending  together  and  disappearing  almost  as  rapid- 
ly as  the  gases  sent  out  from  a  chemical  laboratory  are  diffused  and 
lost  in  the  great  body  of  the  outward  atmosphere,  we  can  hardly  be- 
lieve it  possible,  in  another  country,  several  distinct  races  should  live 
side  by  side,  crowded  together  within  a  comparatively  small  territory, 
and  still  remain  as  distinct  from  each  other,  and  preserve  all  their  origi- 
nal differences  as  strongly  marked,  as  when  circumstances  first  brought 
them  together  centuries  ago.  But  it  is  so ;  these  broad  differences  of 
race  exist,  and  the  feelings  of  rivalry  and  mutual  hostility,  which  so 
naturally  result  from  them,  must  show  themselves  when  once  the  do- 
minion of  the  foreign  sovereign,  the  common  master  who  originally 
held  them  all  in  equal  subjection  and  at  peace  with  each  other,  is  with- 
drawn, and  national  independence  allows  full  scope  for  the  national 
tendencies  to  produce  their  appropriate  effects.  Hungary  is  the  eastern 
outpost  of  civilized  Europe ;  its  position  made  it  the  first  stopping- 
place  in  the  migration  of  those  hordes  from  central  Asia,  which  pros- 
trated the  Roman  empire  in  the  west,  and  afterward  so  often  menaced 
the  independence  of  the  several  kingdoms  which  were  established  upon 
its  ruins.  It  was  therefore  both  the  earliest  and  the  latest  sufferer  from 
these  incursions.  Attila  pitched  his  tents  here  before  he  swept  over  the 
fairer  regions  of  Italy  and  Gaul ;  in  1526,  the  last  independent  king 
of  Hungary  was  defeated  and  slain  by  the  Turks  in  the  fatal  battle  of 
Mohacz,  and  the  greater  part  of  the  country  remained  subject  to  the 
Ottomans  for  a  century  and  a  half,  till  the  heroic  John  Sobieski*  and 
the  Prince  Eugene  of  Savoy,  accomplished  its  deliverance.  From 
that  time  it  has  remained  subject  to  Austria,  its  union  with  this  empire 
being  necessary  for  its  protection  against  the  Turks,  and  essential  for 

*  Sobieski,  the  King  of  Poland,  was  a  sincere  ally  of  the  Austrian  Empire. 

THE    WAli    OF    RAGES    IN    HUNGARY.  9 

the  freedom  of  its  communication  with  western  Europe.  Its  perilous 
position,  and  the  frequent  wars  of  which  it  lias  been  the  theatre,  have 
kept  alive  the  military  spirit  of  its  people,  and  preserved  its  military  in- 
stitutions in  complete  vitality.  But  its  remoteness  and  isolation  have 
prevented  it  from  sharing  in  the  improvements  of  modern  times;  and 
its  institutions,  military,  civil,  and  political,  are  those  of  the  Middle 
Ages.  The  Feudal  System  existed  there  but  yesterday  in  full  vigor; 
all  the  land  was  held  by  the  nobles  on  condition  of  military  service, 
and  on  failure  of  direct  heirs  reverted  to  the  crown.  The  peasants 
were  serfs  attached  to  the  soil,  and  could  bring  no  suit  against  their 
feudal  lord  except  in  his  own  manorial  court,  where  the  noble  was  judge 
in  his  own  cause.  The  distance  between  the  vassal  and  his  lord  was 
rendered  more  broad  and  impassable  by  the  fact  that  they  belonged  to 
different  races,  and  spoke  different  languages.  The  differences  of  em- 
ployment and  social  position  contributed  to  perpetuate  the  distinctions 
of  race;  the  Magyars,  proud  of  their  noble  birth,  would  follow  hardly 
any  profession  but  that  of  arms.  And  they  scorned  the  foot  service  ; 
a  century  or  two  ago,  they  served  as  knights  and  mounted  men-at- 
arms;  now,  they  form  the  most  splendid  cavalry  in  the  world,  and 
leave  the^  Croats  and  other  Sclavonians  to  fill  the  ranks  of  the  infan- 
try. The  SzekTers,  the  kindred  in  race  of  the  Magyars,  are  born  sol- 
diers ;  more  rude  and  uncultivated  than  their  splendid  kinsmen  in  Hun- 
gary, they  are  equally  haughty,  and  more  fierce  and  savage  ;  woe  to 
those  who  dare  encounter  them  in  the  course  of  a  civil  war,  for  even 
their  tender  mercies  are  cruel.  When  the  passions  of  the  Magyars 
are  not  excited,  however,  their  conduct  is  neither  overbearing  nor  ty- 
rannical ;  they  have  too  much  real  bravery,  and  are  too  high  spirited 
and  generous,  for  the  one  or  the  other.  The  patient  and  laborious 
Wallachiaus  and  Sclavonians  have  tilled  the  ground  for  them  for  cen- 
turies, hardly  conscious  how  firmly  the  yoke  of  servitude  rested  on 
their  necks. 

Hungary  has  been  aptly  compared  to  an  old  feudal  castle,  with  its 
donjons  and  moats,  its  battlements  and  portcullis,  which  the  modern 
reformers  wished  to  transform  at  once  into  an  elegant  and  convenient 
modern  habitation.  The  first  step  necessary  in  so  sweeping  a  reform 
was  to  level  it  with  the  ground  ;  and  those  who  had  made  this  rash  at- 
tempt soon  found  that  they  had  miscalculated  the  strength  of  the  antique 
and  massive  pile.  They  succeeded  only  in  pulling  down  some  of  the 
outworks  upon  their  own  heads.  Among  these  classes  so  widely  sep- 
arated,  among  races  that  are  foreign,  and  even  hostile,  to  each  other, 
with  different  religions,  different  tongues,  and  different  civilizations,  it 

10  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN.   HUNGARY. 

was  vain  to  think  of  introducing  the  modern  ideas  of  democracy  and 
equality  ;  and  the  Magyars  themselves  have  never  attempted  it. 

The  Magyars  inhabit  chiefly  the  central  and  eastern  portions  of 
Hungary,  having  the  Slowacks  on  the  north,  the  Wallachians  on  the 
east,  and  the  Croatians  and  other  Illyro  Sclavonians  on  the  south. — 
The  great  estates  of  their  titled  nobles,  or  magnates,  as  they  are  called, 
extend  over  every  portion  of  the  country,  as  the  other  races,  till  quite 
recently,  owned  little  or  no  land  in  Hungary  proper,  except  in  the  free 
cities,  where  the  land  had  been  freed  by  purchase,  or  released  from 
feudal  obligations  by  the  favor  of  the  crown.  It  is  estimated  by  the 
latest  statisticians,  that  the  nobles,  who  are  all  Magyars,  number  at  least 
600,000,  including  women  and  children,  so  that  one  seventh  part  of 
this  dominant  race  enjoy  the  privileges  of  rank  ;  but  the  magnates  do 
not  exceed  two  hundred  in  number,  most  of  whom  own  vast  posses- 
sions. The  untitled  nobility  have  the  entire  control  of  the  lower  house, 
or  second  table,  as  it  is  called,  in  the  general  Diet,  this  house  being 
composed  chiefly  of  representatives  from  the  county  assemblies,  and 
the  affairs  of  the  counties,  (comitais,)  of  which  there  are  about  sixty 
in  the  kingdom,  are  regulated  exclusively  by  the  Magyar  nobles. — 
Thus,  as  the  magnates  form  the  great  majority  of  the  upper  house,  or 
first  table,  the  whole  legislation  of  the  kingdom  is  in  the  hands  of  the 
nobility.'  All  the  Magyar  nobles  own  land,  which  the  poorest  of  them 
are  often  obliged  to  cultivate  with  their  own  hands,  as  any  employ- 
ment in  commerce  or  the  mechanic  arts  is  considered  derogatory  to 
their  rank,  and  they  do  not  often  engage  even  in  the  learned  profes- 
sions. The  Magyars  who  are  not  noble  form  the  higher  class  of  the 
peasantry,  and  though  not  often  rich,  they  have  generally  most  of  the 
necessaries,  and  even  the  comforts  of  life,  as  the  feudal  burdens  on 
their  lands  are  not  excessive,  and  their  tenant  rights  are  often  very  val- 
uable. Whether  peasants  or  nobles,  they  pride  themselves  on  their 
race,  and  regard  the  Wallachians  and  Sclavonians  as  their  subjects,  if 
not  as  inferior  beings.     According  to  this  proverb: 

'  Tot  nem  ember,  kasa  nem  etel,  telega  nem  szeker." 
A  Sclavonian  is  no  man,.the  millet  is  no  eating,  a  car  is  no  coach. 

The  Magyar  language  stands  by  itself,  having  no  affinity  or  rela- 
tionship with  any  other  language  in  Europe  \  lingua  sine  matreet  soro- 
ribus.  There  are  only  two  other  languages  on  the  continent,  the  Bis- 
cayan  or  Basque,  and  the  Finnish,  which  are  equally  isolated ;  some 
philologists  have  attempted  to  trace  an  affinity  between  the  Magyar 
and  the  Finnish,  but  the  prevailing  opinion  now  is,  that  the  resemblance 
between  them  is  too  slight  to  afford  sure  grounds  for  believing  that  they 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  11 

sprang  originally  from  the  same  stock.  .The  Hungarian  is  a  barbarian 
and  nomadic  language,  offending  the  ear  and  of  very  limited  use,  having 
hardly  any  literature,  and  only  a  few  learned  philologists,  besides  the 
Magyars  themselves,  are  acquainted  with  it.  This  peculiar  character  of 
their  language  alone  is  enough  to  point  out  the  Magyars  as  compara- 
tive  strangeis  in  the  country  which  they  inhabit  and  own,  its  former 
possessors  having  been  deprived  of  the  soil  and  reduced  to  servitude. 
Their  attitude  in  this  fair  region  is  still  that  of  conquerors  lording  it 
over  the  ancient  inhabitants,  who  have  never  succeeded  in  shaking  off 
the  yoke  which  was  imposed  on  them  nearly  1200  years  ago.  Leaving 
aside  for  the  present  the  changes  which  have  been  made  within  the 
last  ten  years,  it  may  be  said  that  all  the  political  and  civil  institutions 
of  the  country  were  contrived  exclusively  for  the  benefit  of  this  domi- 
dant  race,  who  form,  be  it  remembered,  less  than  a  third  part  of  the 
population ;  and  down  to  the  outbreak  of  the  recent  war,  these  insti- 
tutions were  exclusively  controlled  and  managed  by  them.  The  Mag- 
yar peasants,  it  is  true,  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  direction  of  affairs, 
though  their  interests,  so  far  as  they  came  in  conflict  with  those  of 
the  Sclavonian  and  Wallachian  peasants,  were,  of  course  protected  by 
the  great  body  of  the  Magyar  nobility,  who  owned  all  the  land,  and 
made  all  the  laws.  The  guaranties  of  Hungarian  independence,  so 
frequently  alluded  to  in  speaking  of  the  union  of  the  country  with 
Austria,  were  nothing  more  than  stipulations  in  favor  of  the  privileges 
of  the  nobles.  The  engagement  to  respect  "  the  ancient  constitution" 
of  the  land,  which  was  a  part  of  the  coronation  oath  whenever  a  new 
emperor  of  Austria  was  crowned  king  of  Hungary  at  Buda,  was  sim- 
ply a  promise  to  do  nothing  to  disturb  the  domination  of  the  Magyar 
race,  and  to  respect  the  rights  and  immunities  of  the  nobles.  That 
these  immunities  were  precious  in  the  eyes  of  the  nobles,  and  were 
jealously  guarded,  we  can  well  believe,  inasmuch  as  they  secured  to 
them  entire  exemption  from  taxation,  all  the  burdens  of  the  state  being 
borne  by  the  peasants. 

So  far  was  this  principle  carried,  that,  down  to  1840,  the  nobles 
were  not  required  to  pay  the  ordinary  toll  on  passing  the  bridges 
which  were  erected  for  the  public  convenience.  "  I  shall  never 
forget,"  writes  M.  de  Langsdorff,  "  the  impression  I  received  when, 
on  the  bridge  which  crosses  the  Danube  at  Pesth,  I  saw  every  peasant, 
every  poor  cultivator  of  the  ground,  rudely  stopped  and  compelled  to 
pay  toll  both  for  himself  and  for  the  meagre  horses  harnessed  to  his 
cart.*     The  tolls  are  heavy,  amounting  to  a  considerable  sum  for  these 

*  1  have  experienced  the  same  fact  as  M.  de  Langsdorff  in  the  year  1848,  passing  the 
biidge  between  Pesth  and  Buda. 

12  THE    WAR    OF   RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

poor  people;  while  the  Magyar  gentlemen,  mounted  on  fine  horses,  or 
seated  in  elegant  carriages,  passed  and  repassed  without  payment  I 
had  read,  it  is  true,  that  the  Hungarian  noble  was  exempted  from  all 
public  contributions,  was  subject  to  no  personal  tax,  and  that  all  bur- 
dens fell  on  the  peasants ;  but  there  is  a  great  difference  between  the 
mention  in  print  of  some  old  injustice  of  the  laws,  and  the  immediate 
and  irritating  spectacle  of  a  social  wrong.  I  felt  that  I  belonged  to 
the  party  of  the  vanquished,  and  like  them  I  offered  to  pay.  But  the 
toll  gatherer,  perceiving  that  I  was  a  stranger,  refused  my  money,  and 
told  me  that  the  tax  was  intended  only  for  the  serfs.  This  exemption, 
it  is  true,  was  a  small  affair,  and  tyranny  has  other  practices  that  are 
far  more  odious ;  but  from  that  time  I  was  no  more  astonished  by  the 
inequalities  and  anomalies  which  I  witnessed  during  the  rest  of  my 
journey;  I  had  foreseen  them  all  on  the  bridge  at  Pesth." 

As  the  bridge  was  built  from  the  public  funds,  which  are  supplied 
exclusively  by  taxation  of  the  peasants,  the  injustice  of  allowing  the 
nobles  to  pass  free  is  still  more  obvious.  It  was  one  of  the  grand 
reforms  effected  by  Count  Szecheny,  that  the  Diet,  in  1836,  was  in- 
duced to  vote  that  the  nobility  should  be  subject  to  toll  on  passing  the 
fine  suspended  bridge  by  which  it  had  been  resolved  to  supersede  the 
floating  one  at  Pesth.  The  nobles  deserve  the  more  credit  for  this  act, 
for  as  they  have  the  entire  control  of  both  tables  of  the  Diet,  they 
were  called  upon  to  vote  down  one  of  the  privileges  of  their  own 
order.  Though  the  amount  of  the  toll  was  insignificant,  the  passage 
of  the  law  was  acknowledged  to  be  a  point  of  great  importance,  as  it 
would  sacrifice  one  of  the  most  cherished  principles  of  the  ancient 
constitution  of  the  country, — the  exemption  of  the  nobility  from  all 
public  contributions  whatever.  Count  Szecheny  had  labored  strenu- 
ously to  prepare  the  public  mind  for  the  change  by  the  pamphlets 
which  he  had  published  on  the  subject ;  and  he  took  the  lead  as  a 
debater  in  the  Diet  in  favor  of  the  measure.  After  the  debate,  opinions 
seemed  so  equally  divided  that  the  Palatine,  who  presided,  durst  not 
declare  that  the  bill  had  passed  in  the  usual  way,  by  acclamation  ;  for 
the  first  time  in  the  history  of  a  Hungarian  Diet,  and  though  there 
were  great  doubts  of  the  legality  of  such  a  course,  the  votes  were 
ordered  to  be  counted,  and,  in  a  full  house,  a  majority  of  six  were 
reported  on  the  side  of  generosity  and  justice. 

The  present  position  of  the  Magyars  in  Hungary  is  very  much 
what  that  of  the  Normans  in  England  was,  for  the  first  century  or 
two  after  the  Conquest.  Though  William  had  fair  pretensions  to  the 
crown  by  right  of  birth — his  title,  in  fact  was  quite  as  good  as  that  of 
Harold — he  treated  the  Saxons,  after  he  had  subdued  them,  as  if  his 


only  claim  to  their  allegiance  rested  upon  the  sword.  He  exercised 
all  the  rights  of  a  conqueror  according  to  the  ideas  of  his  own  bar- 
barous age  ;  and  his  chivalrous  but  rapacious  nobles,  with  their  greedy 
followers,  eagerly  seconded  his  designs.  To  break  the  spirit  of  the 
conquered  Saxons  by  the  insults- as  much  as  by  the  losses  inflicted 
upon  them,  to  proscribe  their  language  as  well  as  to  rob  them  of  their 
estates,  to  ridicule  their  habits,  and  to  brand  them  as  an  inferior  and 
degraded  race,  who  were  unfit  to  hold  office  and  unworthy  to  bear 
arms,  was  the  settled  policy  of  the  earlier  Norman  kings.  The  Nor- 
man French  was  the  language  of  the  court,  the  nobility,  and  the  par- 
liament, of  all  legislative  acts  and  legal  proceedings,  from  which,  indeed, 
it  has  not  entirely  disappeared  even  at  the  present  day.  The  chief 
captains  of  the  invading  army  became  the  great  barons  of  the  realm, 
who  were  afterwards  prompt  enough  to  vindicate  the  privileges  of  their 
order  against  the  arbitrary  will  of  the  monarch,  but  who  took  very 
little  care  of  the  liberties  of  the  commonalty.  But  luckily  the  Nor- 
mans were  not  numerous  in  comparison  with  the  whole  body  of  the 
Saxon  population  of  England  ;  and  as  they  had  to  cross  the  channel 
to  arrive  at  their  new  domain,  they  could  not  always  bring  their  wives 
and  daughters  with  them.  The  fair  haired  Saxon  maidens  did  more 
towards  the  emancipation  of  the  English  people  than  did  their  fathers 
and  brothers,  for  they  soon  began  to  lead  captive  their  Norman  con- 
querors. In  the  course  of  a  few  generations,, very  little  Norman  blood 
remained  entirely  pure  in  the  island.  A  mixed  race  quickly  formed  a 
mixed  language,  and  the  English  compound  soon  showed  itself  more 
generous  and  fertile  than  either  the  Norman  or  the  Saxon  element 
uncombined.  The  conquerors  were  like  a  mighty  river  rushing  into 
the  ocean  with  such  force  as  to  drive  back  the  waters  of  the  deep,  and 
preserve  its  freshness  some  miles  from  land ;  but  the  contest  is  too 
unequal,  the  force  of  the  stream  is  soon  spent,  and  its  sweet  waters 
are  finally  lost  in  the  saltness  of  the  multitudinous  waves. 

(Kr'Normandy  sent  forth  a  little  army  that  was  able  to  conquer  Eng- 
land, but  was  not  numerous  enough  to  possess  it.  Little  more  than  a 
century  before  the  period  of  that  invasion,  the  Asiatic  hive  of  .nations 
had  sent  forth  one  of  its  great  swarms  of  Tartar  breed,  men,  women, 
and  children,  carrying  their  tents,  rude  household  utensils,  and  pagan 
gods  along  with  them,  to  find  fresh  pastures  for  their  herds  on  the  rich 
fields  of  Europe.  The  fertile  plain  of  central  Hungary  afforded  them 
their  first  resting  place  ;  the  degenerate  descendants  of  Trajan's  Roman 
legions,  who  now  call  themselves  Roumani,  or  Wallachians,  and  the 
ancient  Sclavonic  races,  who  were  the  aborigines  of  the  country, 
offered  but  a  feeble  resistance  to  these  fierce  invaders.     They  were 

14  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

either  driven  into  the  fastnesses  of  the  Carpathian  mountains,  or  were 
reduced  to  servitude,  and  compelled  to  till  the  lands  which  were  no 
longer  their  own.  But  the  easy  conquest  of  Hungary  did  not  satisfy 
the  rapacious  and  warlike  spirit  of  the  Magyars.  Leaving  a  portion 
of  their  horde  behind  them,  the  others  passed  on,  and  carried  the  terror 
of  their  arms  far  into  Germany  and  Italy,  and  even  to  the  borders  of 
Spain.  As  their  habits  were  nomadic,  and  they  were  exercised  from 
infancy  in  archery  and  horsemanship,  they  were  able  to  make  annual 
incursions  into  the  more  civilized  countries  around  them,  baffling  their 
enemies  by  the  swiftness  of  their  movements  and  the  suddenness  of 
their  attacks,  and  bringing  back  to  their  newly  adopted  land  a  rich 
booty  from  the  cities  which  they  had  plundered  and  burnt.  So  much 
consternation  did  they  create  by  these  inroads,  that  the  Christian 
nations  of  that  period  regarded  them  as  the  Gog  and  Magog  of  the 
Scriptures,  the  signs  and  forerunners  of  the  end  of  the  world.  But 
their  power  was  at  last  broken  by  two  severe  defeats  which  they  re- 
ceived, in  succession,  from  Henry  the  Fowler  and  Otho  the  Great. — 
The  latter  one  was  so  overwhelming,  that  it  humbled  the  spirit  of  the 
nation,  who  thenceforward  kept  within  the  limits  of  Hungary,  where 
the  fertility  of  the  soil,  and  the  enjoyments  procured  for  them  by  the 
patient  labor  of  the  Sclavonians  and  Wallachians  whom  they  had 
reduced  to  servitude,  gradually  weaned  them  from  their  fondness  for 
hazardous  excursions,  and  gave  them  a  taste  for  sedentary  life  and  the 
arts  of  peace.  But  they  preserved  their  individuality  as  a  race,  because 
they  had  brought  their  women  and  children  with  them  from  Asia,  and 
they  scorned  to  intermarry  with  their  subjects,  whose  language  was  a 
mere  jargon  in  their  ears.  Thus  isolated  from  surrounding  nations, 
the  warlike  and  nomadic  spirit  of  their  ancestors  was  kept  alive  in 
them,  and  on  fit  occasion  it  flamed  forth  as  of  old.  They  no  longer 
invaded  other  lands,  but  they  fortified  their  own  mountain  fastnesses, 
and  for  three  centuries  the  integrity  of  their  territory  was  not  violated 
by  foes  from  without. 

OO^Barbarian  conquerors  leave  nothing  to  the  vanquished  ;  the  Mag- 
yars appropriated  to  themselves  the  whole  of  the  soil  of  Hungary, 
and  their  laws  rendered  it  impossible  that  any  portion  of  it  should 
ever  be  alienated  from  them.  The  theory  which  they  adopted  was, 
that  the  whole  territory  belonged  to  the  king,  as  he  was  the  only  re- 
presentative of  the  entire  nation ;  in  respect  to  its  immediate  occupa- 
tion and  use,  the  ground  was  partitioned  among  them  on  strictly  milita- 
ry principles.  The  officers,  or  petty  chieftains,  down  to  the  lowest, 
received  estates  the  size  of  which  was  proportioned  to  their  rank  and 
to  the  number  of  men  whom  they  had  commanded ;  these   men,  the 

THE    WAR    OF   RACES   IN    HUNGARY.  15 

common  soldiers,  with  their  families,  were  to  live  upon  the  estates  of 
their  officers,  and  by  their  labor,  when  they  had  not  Sclavonian  or 
Wallachian  serfs  enough  to  labor  for  them,  to  support  both  themselves 
and  their  former  commanders.  The  descendants  of  these  officers,  who 
seem  to  have  been  very  numerous,  form  the  present  Hungarian  nobil- 
ity ;  the  Magyar  peasants  are  the  offspring  of  the  common  soldiers,  or 
privates.  The  title  of  the  crown  is  indefeasible ;  the  noble  has  only 
what  is  called  the  right  of  possession,  jus  possessionis,  in  his  estate ;  on 
the  failure  of  his  posterity — usually,  on  the  failure  of  the  male  line 
only,  but  sometimes  after  both  the  male  and  female  lines  are  extinct — 
the  land  reverts  to  the  king.  Only  the  descendants  of  the  person  who 
first  received  the  estate  can  hold  it  in  perpetuity ;  they  may  dispose  of 
it  if  they  please,  but  then  the  purchaser  cannot  hold  it  after  this  family 
from  whom  he  received  it  becomes  extinct.  The  crown  can  always  re- 
claim the  land,  though  it  may  have  changed  hands  several  times,  when- 
ever it  can  be  shown  that  there  are  no  heirs  of  the  original  possessor  in 
being.  So,  also,  the  purchaser  cannot  retain  possession,  if  any  heir  of 
the  first  owner,  however  remote,  or  at  a  day  however  distant  from  the 
time  of  transfer,  chooses  to  refund  the  purchase  money  with  interest, 
and  thus  reclaim  the  estate.  Practically,  therefore,  land  in  Hungary 
is  inalienable  ;  it  is  loaded  with  a  sort  of  double  entail — first,  in  favor 
of  the  crown,  secondly,  in  favor  of  the  family  of  the  first  owner. — 
Any  one  may  buy  it,  indeed,  but  he  does  so  at  a  great  risk ;  for  if  the 
family  from  whom  he  brought  it  becomes  extinct,  the  crown  will  take 
it  away  from  him ;  and  if  it  does  not  become  extinct,  any  member  of 
it,  at  any  time,  can  regain  the  land  by  refunding  its  price.  These  two 
rights,  which  affect  all  the  landed  property  in  the  kingdom,  are  called 
fiscaliias,  or  the  right  of  the  exchequer,  and  aviticitas,  or  the  right  of 
ancestry.  It  is  no  matter  of  surprise,  therefore,  that  the  land  should 
have  remained  for  so  many  centuries  exclusively  in  possession  of  the 
Magyar  nobility. 

All  estates  are  held  on  condition  of  military  service,  the  possessors 
of  them  being  bound  to  bring  into  the  field,  at  the  call  of  the  crown  or 
the  Diet,  a  number  of  soldiers  proportioned  to  the  extent  of  his  lands. 
The  peasants  retain  their  holdings  on  the  same  tenure ;  so  that,  in  an 
insurrection,  as  the  levy  en  masse  in  Hungary  is  called,  every  male  in 
the  kingdom  who  derives  his  subsistence  from  the  land,  and  is  capa- 
ble of  bearing  arms,  is  drawn  into  the  service.  As  military  duty  is 
thus  connected  with  the  ownership  of  land  and  the  rights  of  the  no- 
bility,  the  position  of  the  Magyars  in  the  country  has  always  retained 
its  primitive  aspect,  as  a  military  encampment.  The  free  cities  are  in- 
novations in  the  ancient  constitution  ;  their  existence  proves  that  even 

16  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

feudal  Hungary  has  not  been  able  to  fence  out  altogether  the  spirit  and 
the  improvements  of  modern  times.  Their  inhabitants  are  chiefly 
Germans,  Jews,  and  Sclavonians,  engaged  in  commerce  and  the  me- 
chanic arts;  and  they  are  not  subject  to  this  onerous  obligation  of 
military  service.  But  the  political  power  goes  along  with  the  military, 
and  what  the  bourgeoisie  gain  in  the  freedom  and  ease  of  their  posi- 
tion, they  lose  in  influence.  The  nobles,  that  is,  the  Magyars,  have 
the  control  of  the  army,  and  direct  the  whole  course  of  public  affairs. 
They  alone,  as  we  have  seen,  compose  the  county  assemblies,  or  con- 
gregations, which  meet  four  times  a  year,  and  send  delegates  to  the 
general  Diet,  which  has  the  supreme  legislative  power  of  the  kingdom. 
The  situation  of  the  peasants,  in  reference  to  that  of  the  nobility,  is 
not  one  of  so  great  hardship  and  injustice  as  we  might  at  first  sight  sup- 
pose. The  peasants  do  not  own  the  lands  which  they  cultivate,  but 
hire  them  of  the  proper  landlords  on  what  may  be  called  a  perpetual 
lease;  only,  instead  of  paying  a  fixed  sum  annually,  which  would  be 
called  rent,  they  are  held  to  pay  all  the  taxes  or  public  burdens,  to  pay 
tithes  also,  part  of  which  go  to  the  landlords  and  part  to  the  clergy, 
and  to  perform  certain  other  services  for  the  benefit  of  the  owners  of 
the  estate.'  The  aggregate  of  all  these  burdens  does  not  amount  to  a 
fair  rent  for  the  value  of  the  land ;  the  proof  of  which  is,  that  a  peas- 
ant's holding,  or  his  tenant-right,  is  good  property,  which  commands 
a  price  in  the  market,  and  as  such  is  often  bought  up  by  the  lord  of  the 
manor  himself.  It  is  evident,  therefore,  that  there  would  be  great  in- 
justice  in  freeing  the  land  at  once  from  these  feudal  obligations  without 
compensating  the  land  owners,  as  this  would  amount  simply  to  a  trans- 
ference of  the  property  to  the  tenants  without  an  equivalent,  and  the 
nobles  would  thus  be  robbed  of  their  entire  estates.  On  the  other 
hand,  if  the  feudal  burdens  were  taken  off,  and  the  land  restored  with- 
out incumbrance  to  its  former  owners,  the  peasants  would  be  greatly 
injured  by  the  change,  as  they  would  be  obliged  to  pay  full  rent  for 
what  they  now  enjoy  at  a  price  much  inferior  to  its  annual  value. — 
The  matter  was  thus  regarded  in  the  Diet,  where  the  question  has  been 
debated  for  the  last  thirteen  years,  all  parties  being  equally  desirous  of 
emancipating  the  peasants  from  these  feudal  obligations,  and  all  ac- 
knowledging that  the  lord  of  the  manor  is  indisputably  the  owner  of 
the  land,  and  that  he  cannot  justly  be  deprived  of  it  without  an  equiva- 
lent. The  only  question  was,  whether  the  landlords  should  be  indem- 
nified by  the  state,  out  of  a  fund  to  be  raised  by  a  loan  for  that  pur- 
pose, or  whether  they  should  be  paid  by  annuities,  chargeable  for  a 
term  of  years  on  the  peasants  themselves,  who  could  afford  to  pay 
them  if  released  from  the  burdensome  conditions  upon  which  they  had 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  17 

hitherto  enjoyed  their  holdings.  The  Austrian  government  took  the 
le£d  in  urging  the  Diet  to  settle  the  question  by  adopting  one  or  the 
other  of  these  methods  ;  and  its  advice  would  probably  have  been  fol- 
lowed if  the  revolution  had  not  intervened.  Kossuth  and  his  party 
hastily  cut  the  knot  by  decreeing  the  abolition  of  the  feudal  burdens, 
making  over  the  entire  ownership  of  the  lands  to  the  peasants,  and 
promising  to  indemnify  the  landlords  out  of  a  fund  to  be  created  by 
confiscating  the  property  of  the  clergy.  This  was  simply  robbing  Pe- 
ter to  pay  Paul,  because  the  assistance  of  Paul  was  needed  to  carry 
out  the  revolution.  Nobody,  it  was  supposed,  would  care  about  the 
plunder  of  the  church. 

The  Magyars  continued  to  be  pagans  for  a  century  after  their 
establishment  in  the  country.  But  when  they  had  become  domesti- 
cated on  the  soil,  and  had  begun  to  cultivate  peaceful  relations  with 
their  neighbors,  Christianity  made  its  way  among  them  in  spite  of  the 
obstacle  created  by  their  peculiar  language,  which  has  always  retard- 
ed their  assimilation  with  the  other  nations  of  Europe.  St.  Stephen 
was  their  first  Christian  king,  and  his  name  is  still  revered  among 
them  as  the  founder  of  their  institutions,  and  the  Charlemagne  of  their 
race.  He  was  crowned  by  Pope  Sylvester  II.  with  the  famous  crown 
of  gold,  which  was  till  recently  preserved  at  Buda,  as  the  palladium  of 
their  nation ;  the  Scotch  did  not  regard  with  greater  reverence  the 
famous  stone  in  the  royal  seat  at  Scone.  St.  Stephen  systemized 
their  institutions,  but  did  not  alter  their  essential  character,  which 
remained  as  it  was  under  Arpad,  the  chieftain  who  led  them  into  the 
country.  In  the  main,  their  government  was  that  of  a  feudal  kingdom, 
its  peculiarities  being  the  great  number  of  the  nobles,  and  the  domina- 
tion of  the  whole  race  over  the  Sclavonians  and  Wallachians.  Then- 
position  was  one  well  suited  to  develop  a  military  spirit,  aristocratic 
tendencies,  and  an  intense  feeling  of  nationality.  They  became  as 
haughty,  brave,  and  rapacious  as  the  Normans,  though  not  so  refined, 
owing  to  their  remoteness  from  the  civilized  capitals  of  western  Europe. 
On  account  of  their  greater  relative  numbers,  and  the  patient  and 
unenterprising  character  of  the  races  whom  they  had  subdued,  their 
dominion  was  more  secure  at  home  than  was  that  of  the  Normans  in 
Sicily,  France,  or  England ;  but  they  were  exposed  to  greater  dangers 
from -without.  Asia  continued  to  pour  forth  its  barbarian  hordes  upon 
Europe,  long  after  their  establishment  in  Hungary ;  and  in  their  fron- 
tier position,  they  were  the  first  objects  of  attack  for  enemies  of  a  like 
origin  with  themselves,  but  now  of  a  dissimilar  faith.  They  were 
valiant  and  skilful  in  war,  but  they  could  not  bring  out  the  whole 
strength  of  the  country  against  its  invaders,  since  their  oppressed 


subjects  cared  little  about  a  change  of  masters ;  and  therefore  they 
sometimes  experienced  severe  defeats.  In  1526,  the  youthful  king  of 
Hungary  was  totally  defeated  and  slain  by  the  Turks  in  the  fatal  bat- 
tie  of  Mohacz.  Since  that  time,  they  have  found  protection  from  their 
enemies  only  by  their  union  with  Austria. 

It  was  as  an  ally  more.than  as  a  subject  province,  as  a  sovereign  power 
submitting  to  certain  common  restrictions  for  the  purchase  of  certain 
common  advantages,  that  Hungary  made  choice,  so  long  as  her  mon- 
archy remained  elective,  of  the  emperor  of  Austria  to  be  her  king,  and 
finally,  in  a  Diet  held  at  Presburg  in  1687,  acknowledged  the  hered- 
itary right  of  the  same  family  to  reign  in  both  countries.  After  the 
memorable  scene  with  Maria  Theresa,  this  right  was  extended,  accord- 
ing to  the  terms  of  the  Pragmatic  Sanction,  to  the  female  line.  It  was 
not,  indeed,  till  after  her  union  with  Austria  was  confirmed,  that  Hun- 
gary was  entirely  released  from  the  Turks,  who  had  retained  possession 
of  full  half  of  the  kingdom,  from  the  battle  of  Mohacz  till  they  were 
defeated  and  driven  out  by  the  heroic  John  Sobieski  in  1683,  and  by 
the  Prince  Eugene  of  Savoy  in  the  years  1691—1716 — 1718.  During 
this  period  of  national  humiliation  and  distress,  the  Magyars  hesitated 
whether  to  throw  themselves  under  the  exclusive  protection  of  the  Aus- 
trians  or  the  Turks,  who  divided  the  country  between  them.  Though 
Ferdinand  I.  of  Austria  had  become  their  rightful  sovereign  after  the 
death  of  the  unhappy  Louis  II.,  whose  sister  he  had  married,  and 
whose  right,  of  course,  was  transmitted  to  her  descendants,  the  Aus- 
trian rule  was  so  distasteful  to  them,  that  they  invoked  the  aid  of  the 
Ottomans  against  it,  and  in  the  sanguine  struggle,  the  noted  Tokolo 
and  his  partisans  fought  with  the  Turks  against  Sobieski.  Fortunate- 
ly for  Christendom,  the  body  of  the  nation  at  length  preferred  to  unite 
itself  to  Austria,  and  thus  to  strengthen  the  eastern  frontier  of  Europe 
against  the  Ottoman  power,  instead  of  contributing  directly  to  its  ad- 

The  real  cause  of  dislike  of  the  Austrian  alliance  was  the  fear  en- 
tertained by  the  nobles  lest  the  abundant  privileges  of  their  order,  which 
they  had  wrested  from  their  native  princes,  should  not  be  respected 
by  the  house  of  Hapsburg.  As  in  every  other  feudal  kingdom,  there 
had  been  a  long  struggle  for  the  mastery  between  the  crown  and  the 
barons  ;  and  the  issue  of  this  contest,  owing  to  the  great  number  of 
the  nobility,  was  far  more  unfavorable  to  the  regal  power  in  Hungary, 
than  it  was  in  France  and  England.  King  Andreas  II.  had  been  drawn 
into  the  Crusades,  and  on  his  return  from  Palestine,  be  found  that  his 
subjects  had  taken  the  same  advantage  of  him  which  the  people  of 
several  other  European  countries  had  reaped  from  the  absence  of  their 


sovereigns  in  the  east ;  the  royal  power  had  fallen  into  decay,  the  no- 
bles had  usurped  what  the  crown  had  lost,  and  had  entered  into  a  con- 
spiracy to  protect  their  usurpations.  He  was  obliged  to  yield,  and  to 
grant  to  the  rebels  the  celebrated  Golden  Bull,  which  is  to  Hungary 
what  Magna  Charta  is  to  England,  except  that  it  secures  only  the  no- 
bility in  their  rights,  and  leaves  the  peasants  and  the  subject  nations 
just  where  they  were,  a  prey  to  the  oppression  both  of  the  barons  and 
the  crown.  This  instrument,  which  as  still  frequently  appealed  to  as 
the  most  important  chapter  in  the  constitution,  secures  to  the  nobles 
freedom  from  arrest  except  by  due  course  of  law,  perpetual  immunity 
from  all  taxation  whatever,  the  right,  when  their  privileges  are  attacked, 
of  legal  resistance  without  incurring  the  penalties  of  treason,  and 
freedom  from  any  obligation  to  obey  the  king  till  after  his  regular 

The  truth  is,  Hungary  has  always  been  independent ;  she  has  en- 
joyed her  own  constitution,  her  own  legislature,  the  right  of  electing 
her  own  palatine,  and  of  determining  the  measure  of  assistance  which 
she  would  grant  Austria  in  case  of  war.  The  union  of  the  two  coun- 
tries was  a  union  for  their  common  good  to  strengthen  their  hands  against 
their  common  enemies,  the  Turks.  Hungary  had  no  greater  cause  to 
dread  an  Austrian  sovereign,  than  England  had  to  fear  the  accession 
of  James  VI.  of  Scotland.  The  cases  were  entirely  parallel ;  the 
late  monarch  was  styled  the  emperor  Ferdinand  I.  at  Vienna,  and  king 
Ferdinand  V.  at  Presburg.  Hungary  being  far  the  largest  and  most 
powerful  of  the  many  states  which  form  the  conglomerate  empire,  and 
having  a  numerous  order  of  nobility,  who  enjoyed  the  most  extensive 
constitutional  privileges,  were  warlike  in  their  habits,  and  could  bring 
strong  bodies  of  their  vassals  into  the  field,  an  advantage  not  enjoyed 
by  any  other  portion  of  the  Austrian  dominions,  there  was  more  rea- 
son that  Austria  should  be  jealous  of  her,  than  that  she  should  be  jeal- 
ous of  Austria. 

Besides,  political  reasons  of  great  weight  forbade  the  separation  of 
Hungary  from  the  empire.  On  account  of  its  geographical  position, 
its  absolute  independence  would  cause  its  isolaton  ;  it  would  be  thrown 
off  from  the  civilization  and  the  politics  of  western  and  central  Europe 
into  semi-barbarism,  surrounded  by  Turkey,  the  people  of  Wallachia, 
Servia,  and  Bulgaria.  Austria,  it  has  been  well  observed,  is  now  the 
bridge  that  connects  her  with  European  civilization :  it  would  be  ruin- 
ous policy  to  convert  that  bridge  into  a  barrier.  Hungary  proper  is 
entirely  inland,  she  has  no  seaport,  no  outlet  for  her  commerce ;  for 
even  the  Danube,  her  only  natural  highway  to  the  sea,  flows  in  the 
lower  part  of  its  course  through  the   dominions  of  Turkey,   and  its 

20  THE    WAR    OF    EACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

mouth  is  also  commanded  by  Russia.  Either  of  these  powers,  there- 
fore,  might  at  any  time  cut  off  the  communication  of  Hungary  with 
the  Black  Sea.  Croatia  has  the  poor  roadstead,  rather  than  seaport, 
of  Fiume  on  the  Adriatic  ;  and  the  wish  to  secure  even  this  inconve- 
nient and  distant  opening  to  the  Mediterranean  is  doubtless  one  of  the 
reasons  why  the  Magyars  have  been  so  anxious  to  preserve  Croatia  as  a 
dependency  of  Hungary.  Separated  from  Austria,  deprived  of  Croatia, 
and  cut  off  by  the  Turks  from  the  navigation  of  the  Danube,  Magyar- 
Hungary  would  be  like  an  isolated  tree  planted  in  a  soil  where  there  is 
no  water,  the  branches  and  foliage  of  which  would  wither  in  a  single 

It  was  only  the  restless  and  domineering  spirit  of  the  united  Magyar 
nobility,  aggressive  and  fiery  in  temperament,  and  panting  not  so  much 
for  absolute  independence  as  for  entire  control  of  the  more  patient,  in- 
dustrious, and  unambitious  races — Sclavonians,  Germans,  and  Wallach- 
ians — by  whom  they  are  surrounded,  which  kindled  the  recent  war,  and 
so  conducted  it  as  to  arm  everyone  of  these  races  against  themselves; 
and  thus,  in  spite  of  their  own  matchless  bravery  and  enthusiasm,  and 
the  misplaced  sympathy  of  the  republican  party  throughout  Europe 
and  America,  to  bring  down  upon  their  heads  the  united  powers  of 
Austria  and  Russia,  and  finally  to  sink  in  the  unequal  struggle.  Had 
they  begun  by  the  abnegation  of  the  enormous  and  unjust  privileges 
of  their  own  order  and  the  insolent  supremacy  of  their  race ;  .had  they 
offered  confedration  and  equality  of  political  rights  to  Croat  and  Slo- 
wack,  Saxon  and  Walla  chian,  their  united  strength  might  have  dashed 
in  pieces  the  Austrian  empire,  and  the  Russian  troops  would  never 
have  crossed  their  borders.  But  they  aimed  to  procure  dissimilar  and 
incompatible  objects ;  to  retain  the  economical  and  political  advan- 
tages of  a  union  with  Austria,  without  submitting  to  any  control,  or 
tendering  any  equivalent;  to  be  admitted  to  all  the  privileges  enjoyed 
by  the  Hereditary  States,  without  bearing  any  portion  of  their  bur- 
dens ;  to  vindicate  their  own  independence  against  the  empire,  but  to 
crush  the  Croatians  and  Wallachians  for  daring  to  claim  independence 
of  the  Magyars ;  to  "  hunt  out  those  proscribed  traitors  in  their  lair," 
to  stifle  "  the  rebellion  in  south  Hungary/'  to  lay  waste  with  fire  and 
sword  the  Saxon  colonies  in  Transylvania,  and  then  evoke  the  indig- 
nation of  Europe  against  the  interference  of  Russia,  whose  troops  en- 
tered Hermanstadt  at  the  urgent  entreaty  of  these  Saxon  colonists,  in  or- 
der to  save  them  from  utter  destruction  by  the  merciless  Szeklers  and 

We  have  said  that  the  immediate  cause  of  the  Hungarian  Declara- 
tion of  Independence  was  the  publication,  by  the  youthful  emperor  of 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  21 

Austria,  of  a  very  liberal  constitution  of  all  his  subjects  on  the  4th  of 
March,  1849.  So  bountiful  was  this  constitution  in  granting  political 
privileges  and  securities  to  all  Austrian  subjects,  without  distinction, 
that  the  Magyars  had  no  ostensible  ground  to  complain  of  it,  except 
that  which  is  stated  in  their  declaration  ;  that  it  divided  what  tbey  call 
tlieir  territory  "  into  five  parts,  separating  Transylvania,  Croatia,  Scla- 
vonia  and  Fiume  from  Hungary,  and  creating  at  the  same  time  a  prin- 
cipality for  the  Servian  rebels,"  and  thus  "  paralyzed  the  political  ex- 
istence of  the  country."  The  justice  even  of  this  complaint  is  not 
very  obvious;  for  Transylvania  has  always  had  a  Diet  of  her  own, 
Croatia  and  Sclavonia  united  also  have  one,  and  the  degree  in  which 
these  Diets  depend  on,  or  are  subject  to,  the  Hungarian  Diet,  has  never 
been  accurately  determined.  The  Croatian  Diet  protests  against  any 
such  dependence  or  subjection  whatever,  and  for  very  good  reasons; 
for  it  is  permitted  to  send  but  three  delegates  to  the  Diet  at  Pesth,  which 
is  wholly  controlled  by  the  Magyar  nobility.  What  power  would  these 
three  delegates  have  to  protect  the  interests  of  the  provinces  which 
they  represent,  and  which  have  an  exclusively  Sclavonian  population  ? 
it  is  evident  that  the  separation  of  these  four  provinces  from  Hun- 
gary, with  which,  indeed,  they  have  never  been  properly  or  rightfully 
united,  was  absolutely  necessary  in  order  to  carry  out  another  article 
of  the  new  Austrian  constitution,  which  is  the  real  object  that  the  Mag- 
yars protest  against.  This  article  is  the  one  we  have  already  quoted, 
which  secures  an  equality  of  rights  to  all  the  differeut  races  of  the  em- 
pire, and  guarantees  to  each  the  privilege  of  retaining  its  own  nation- 
ality and  language.  Other  articles  declare,  that  "  for  all  the  races  or 
nations  of  the  empire  there  is  but  one  general  Austrian  citizenship  ;" 
and  that  "  in  no  Crown-land  shall  there  be  any  difference  between  its 
natives  and  those  of  another  Crown-land,  neither  in  the  administration 
of  civil  or  criminal  justice,  nor  in  the  ways  and  manners  of  justice, 
nor  in  the  distribution  of  the  public  burdens."  This  is  in  the  true  re- 
publican spirit  of  equality  of  rights  and  political  privileges;  and  this 
was  the  law  which  Austria  decreed,  and  Magyar -Hungary  repudiated. 
The  policy  of  Austria  is  evident  enough ;  we  grant  her  no  credit  but 
for  submitting  frankly  and  without  reserve  to  what  had  become  a  po- 
litical necessity.  History  furnishes  many  other  instances  of  a  triangu- 
lar contest  between  a  despotic  monarch,  an  arrogant  nobility,  and  an 
exasperated  people,  in  which  the  crown  made  common  cause  with  the 
people,  granted  all  their  demands,  and  thus  gained  power  enough  to 
crush  the  refractory  barons.  Royalty  is  always  more  prompt  to  sac- 
rifice its  prerogatives,  than  an  ai'istocracy  is  to  abandon  its  privileges  ; 

22  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

for  the  former  hopes  to  retrieve  at  a  future  day  the  ground  which  it 
has  lost ;  while  the  latter,  if  once  depressed,  can  never  rise. 

But  the  Magyars  found  still  more  serious  causes  to  complain  of  the 
liberality  of  the  new  Austrian  constitution.  It  provides  that  the  Up- 
per House  of  the  General  Imperial  Diet  shall  consist  of  two  members 
chosen  by  each  of  the  provincial  diets,  besides  other  persons  chosen 
by  the  Imperial  Diet  itself,  enough  to  make  the  whole  number  one 
half  as  large  as  that  of  the  Lower  House ;  that  is,  it  establishes  an 
equal  representation  of  the  several  Crown-lands  in  this  Upper  House, 
thus  giving  to  Transylvania,  Croatia  and  Sclavonia,  and  Fiume  with 
its  territories,  equal  weight  with  Hungary,  and  of  course  emancipating 
them  from  Hungarian  domination.  The  constitution  of  the  Lower 
House  in  the  Imperial  Diet  is  still  more  fatal  to  the  lofty  pretensions 
of  the  Magyars  to  govern  all  other  races  and  nationalities.  "  The 
Lower  House  proceeds  from  general  and  direct  elections.  The  fran- 
chise belongs  to  every  Austrian  citizen  who  is  of  age,"  and  who  pays 
a  moderate  tax,  which  is  not  in  any  case  to  exceed  twenty  florins,  and 
may  be  as  small  as  five  florins.  This  is  equal  suffrage,  and  it  certainly 
comes  as  near  universal  suffrage  as  any  reasonable  liberal  could  desire, 
considering  how  little  experience  the  subjects  of  Austria  have  had  in 
managing  representative  institutions.  Under  such  a  law,  the  4,200,000 
Magyars  lose  all  control  even  of  Hungary  proper,  which  has  a  popula- 
tion of  10,500,000  ;  the  reins  pass  at  once  from  their  hands  into  those 
of  the  despised  Sclavonians  and  Wallachians;  who,  taken  together. 
number  over  six  millions.  The  Magyar  nobility,  who  number  about 
600,000,  beheld  themselves  reduced  from  a  condition  in  which  they 
had  the  entire  control  of  public  affairs  to  a  level  with  the  eight  millions 
of  peasants.  This  proud  aristocracy  is  absolutely  crushed  by  the 
genuine  republicanism  of  the  constitution.  This  was  the  grievance 
which  produced  the  Hungarian  Declaration  of  Independence,  a 
Declaration  put  forth  by  a  Diet  constituted  almost  exclusively  of  the 
Magyar  nobility.  Up  to  the  4th  of  March,  1849,  the  reunion  of  Hun- 
gary  with  Austria  was  possible,  and  even  probable,  though  open  hos- 
tilities had  existed  between  them  for  nearly  six  months;  but  on  that 
date,  the  new  constitution  was  issued,  and  the  Magyar  nobles  imme- 
diately threw  away  the  scabbard,  and  declared  that  they  fought  for 
absolute  national  independence. 

That  they  might  not  be  absolutely  without  allies  in  a  contest  which 
would  evidently  be  a  long  and  desperate  one,  and  as  they  could  find 
no  friends  among  the  subject  races  in  their  own  country  whom  they 
had  so  long  oppressed,  they  resolved  to  make  common  cause  with  the 
ultra  republicans  of  Vienna,  and,  indeed,  of  Germany  and  all  Europe. 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  23 

It  was  this  alliance  which  varnished  over  their  aristocratic  purposes 
and  tendencies  with  a  false  appearance  of  democracy,  and  gained  for 
them  the  misdirected  sympathies  of  the  liberal  party  in  both  hemis- 
pheres. To  one  who  has  studied  the  history,  character,  and  condition 
of  the  Magyar  race  in  Hungary,  this  alliance  certainly  appears  one  of 
the  most  skilful  artifices  that  was  ever  framed.  It  can  be  explained 
only  on  the  principle  so  frequently  exemplified  in  the  movements  of 
political  parties,  that  extremes  meet.  The  most  striking  feature  in 
the  Magyar  character  is  the  chivalrous,  haughty,  and  aristocratic 
spirit  which  has  been  fostered  by  centuries  of  undisputed  dominion 
over  the  nations  whom  their  ancestors  conquered  before  more  than 
1000  years  ago,  and  by  a  continued  strffgle  with  the  house  of  Austria 
to  preserve  the  exclusive  privileges  of  their  orde;  and  their  race. 

An  intense  feeling  of  their  nationality  has  always  directed  their  con- 
duct. Even  of  late  years,  when  ideas  of  progress  and  democratic 
reform  had  pushed  their  way  even  into  Hungary,  the  great  question  at 
the  Diet  did  not  relate  to  the  mode  of  embodying  these  ideas  into 
legislative  acts,  but  to  the  doubt  whether  the  king,  at  the  close  of  the 
session,  would  wear  the  Hungarian  surcoat  or  the  Austrian  royal 
mantle  ;  and  whether  he  would  make  his  speech  in  Magyar  or  in  Ger- 
man. The  manner  in  which  the  royal  propositions  were  received, 
(the  crown  had  the  initiative  in  all  legislative  acts,)  depended  much 
more  on  the  solution  of  these  doubts  than  on  the  nature  of  the  propo- 
sitions themselves.  "I  still  remember,"  says  an  eye  witness,  "the 
closing  of  the  diet  of  1840.  The  discussions  had  been  stormy,  and 
the  members  were  about  to  separate  with  angry  and  resentful  feelings. 
There  were  some  at  Vienna  who  counselled  vigorous  and  severe 
measures.  But  there  was  a  surer  means  of  allaying  the  discontent. 
The  emperor  appeared  in  the  Magyar  hussar  uniform,  and  the  empress 
and  her  ladies  bore  the  long  white  veil  Avhich  the  Magyar  dames  wear 
on  great  festival  occasions.  The  assembly,  electrified  at  the  sight, 
made  the  hall  resound  with  their  cries  of  joy  and  triumph ;  and  at  the 
first  word  pronounced  by  the  emperor  in  the  Magyar  language,  the 
enthusiasm  broke  through  all  bounds,  and  he  was  not  permitted  to 
finish  the  sentence  which  he  had  learned  with  some  difficulty." 

This  enthusiasm  of  character,  coupled  with  some  j)icturesque  pecu- 
liarities of  dress  and  customs,  is  one  great  cause  of  the  favor  with 
which  the  cause  of  the  Magyars  has  been  received  in  Europe.  The 
established  mode  of  taking  the  vote  in  the  Diet  has  always  been  by 
acclamation,  so  that  unanimity  was  often  supposed  when  it  did  not 
exist.  A  noble  never  appears  in  public  without  the  long  and  trailing 
sabre  peculiar  to  bis  race,  which,  as  already  observed,  he  carries  even 

24  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

nto  the  legislative  halls  ;  whence  the  proverbial  saying  among  them., 
"  he  has  his  arms,  and  he  has  his  vote ;  his  vote  is  therefore  free." 
Assent  was  signified  by  clashing  these  sabres  ;  and  their  late  Palatine, 
the  archduke  Joseph,  was  noted  for  his  quickness  of  ear  and  impar- 
tiality in  determining  whether  more  sabres  were  clashed  in  the  affir- 
mative or  the  negative  of  a  question.  In  this  instance,  as  in  many 
others,  we  see  that  the  Magyar  pride  of  race  and  strong  attachment 
to  ancestral  usages  have  brought  down  a  rude  custom  of  the  Middle 
Ages  to  modern  times,  in  which  it  has  no  real  significance,  though  it 
gives  to  their  proceedings  a  factitious  air  of  unanimity  and  chivalric 

Again,  the  ordinary  assemflkge  of  the  militia  in  Hungary,  to  per- 
form the  military  service  required  of  them  by  the  tenure  of  their  lands, 
is  called  the  insurrection ;  a  word  which,  as  repeated  by  the  histori- 
ans, gives  quite  a  false  aspect  to  the  occurrence.  The  splendid  attire 
of  the  Hungarian  soldiery,  especially  of  the  cavalry,  in  which  arm 
alone  the  nobles  are  bound  to  serve,  shows  the  rude  and  barbaric  taste 
for  magnificence  which  has  descended  to  them  from  their  Tartar  ances- 
tors, and  has  been  religiously  cultivated  as  a  badge  of  their  race.  Yet 
their  dress  is  well  designed  for  military  purposes,  as  the  imposing  as- 
pect of  an  army  is  often  an  element  of  its  success  ;  the  Magyar  hus- 
sar jacket,  embroidered  with  gold  and  pearls,  has  been  copied  in  half 
the  armies  of  Europe.  One  reason  of  the  lasting  popularity  of  the 
late  Palatine  was,  that  he  always  wore  the  national  dress,  especially 
the  atiila,  a  sort  of  tunic  of  cloth  or  black  velvet,  the  name  of  which 
flatters  the  pride  of  the  Magyars  with  the  memory  of  their  supposed 
aucient  leader,  and  the  mente,  a  long  surcoat  or  pelisse,  trimmed  with 
fur.  He  also  spoke  with  great  fluency  the  Magyar  language,  a  rare 
accomplishment  for  a  native  German,  though  no  officer  of  rank  in 
Hungary  would  be  tolerated  who  had  not  acquired  it.  The  nobles 
pay  great  attention  to  the  physical  education  of  their  children,  accus- 
toming them  from  a  very  early  age  to  all  manly  exercises,  especially 
swimming  and  horsemanship.  The  noted  reformer,  Count  Szecheny, 
a  magnate  of  high  rank  and  great  wealth,  is  reported  to  be  the  best 
swimmer  in  Hungary  ;  a  crowd  often  collected  on  the  quay  at  Pesth 
when  the  rumor  was  circulated  that  he  was  about  to  swim  over  the 

Many  of  the  characteristics  of  the  Magyar  race  interest  the  imagi- 
nation and  the  feelings  strongly  in  their  favor  ;  but  the  sober  judgment 
of  one  who  looks  at  them  under  all  the  light  derived  from  the  improved 
civilization  of  the  nineteenth  century  cannot  but  condemn  their  position 
as  a  false  one,  their  institutions  as  antiquated,  and  their  character  and 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  25 

customs  as  little  suited  to  promote  their  intellectual  and  material  well- 
being.  The  most  intelligent  among  them  have  long  admitted  the  ne- 
cessity of  great  reforms,  and  during  the  twenty  years  which  immedi- 
ately preceded  the  recent  war,  many  beneficial  changes  were  actually 
made,  and  the  way  was  paved  for  others  of  greater  moment.  The 
credit  of  these  ameliorations  is  chiefly  due  to  Count  Szecheny,  one  of 
the  noblest  and  best  reformers  of  whom  any  age  or  country  can  boast. 
Having  a  princely  fortune,  an  enterprising  and  generous  disposition, 
and  an  intellect  thoroughly  cultivated  by  books  and  foreign  travel, 
joining  the  enthusiasm  and  the  perseverance  of  a  reformer  to  the  prac- 
tical skill  and  tact  of  a  statesman,  and  being  both  an  accomplished 
writer  and  an  eloquent  and  practised  debater,  he  has  accomplished  so 
much  for  his  country  that  she  owes  him  a  larger  debt  of  gratitude  than 
is  due  to  all  her  sovereigns  and  warriors  united.  His  first  enterprise, 
commenced  twenty  years  since,  was  an  attempt  to  improve  the  navi- 
gation of  the  Danube,  a  work  of  immense  importance,  as  we  have 
shown,  to  the  prosperity  of  the  country.  The  obstructions  in  the  river 
were  so  great,  that  only  large  rafts  and  some  rude  bateaux  were  sent 
down  stream,  to  be  broken  up  when  they  had  once  arrived  at  the 
Black  Sea.  Szecheny  built  at  his  own  expense  a  light  and  stout  boat 
in  which  he  descended  the  river  himself,  and  ascertained  that  the  rocks 
and  rapids  were  not  so  formidable  as  had  been  supposed.  He  then  or- 
ganized a  company  for  removing  the  greatest  obstacles  from  the  bed  of 
the  stream,  and  placing  a  line  of  steamboats  upon  it.  The  undertak- 
ing had  complete  success,  and  within  one  year  the  boats  were  plying 
regularly  from  Ratisbon  to  Vienna,  and  from  Vienna  to  Constantino- 
'pie.  The  enterprise  excited  great  enthusiasm  in  Hungary ;  the  Aus- 
trian government  favored  it,  and  contributed  largely  for  its  execution 
Metternich  himself  was  pleased,  and  became  one  of  the  first  stock- 
holders, though  he  laughed  at  the  boasting-of  the  Magyars  respecting 
it,  "  who  thought  they  had  invented  the  Danube." 

This  work  made  Szecheny  very  popular  ;  but  as  yet  his  countrymen 
regarded  him  only  as  an  able  engineer.  He  soon  showed  himself,  how- 
ever, a  politician  and  publicist  of  the  highest  rank,  by  a  number  of 
pamphlets  published  in  quick  succession,  advocating  with  great  elo- 
quence and  ability  some  important  changes  in  the  constitution  of  the 
state  and  the  relations  between  the  peasants  and  the  nobility.  These 
pamphlets  were  the  first  productious  of  importance  written,  not  in  Lat- 
in or  German,  but  in  the  Magyar  tongue.  Szecheny  knew  his  coun- 
trymen well,  and  was  aware  how  much  favor  might  be  conciliated  for 
his  schemes  by  this  innovation  in  language.  His  arguments  were  di- 
rected chiefly  against  the  tithes,  road-tax,  duty-services,  and  other  feu- 

26  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

dal  burdens  on  the  land,  and  against  the  exemption  of  the  nobility 
from  taxation.  He  proposed  to  redeem  the  tithes  and  the  road-tax  by 
means  of  a  national  loan,  after  the  example  that  had  been  successfully 
set  in  several  of  the  German  states.  Following  up  warmly  in  the 
Diet  the  schemes  which  he  had  broached  in  his  pamphlets,  he  soon 
had  the  satisfaction  of  finding  himself  at  the  head  of  a  numerous  and 
active  party,  both  in  the  legislature  and  the  country  at  large,  who 
eagerly  seconded  his  designs.  The  discussion  was  carried  on  with 
great  spirit  on  both  sides,  and  the  interest  which  it  excited  threw  all 
other  subjects  into  the  shade.  "  The  old  feudal  edifice  erected  by  St. 
Stephen,  fortified  by  Andreas  II.,  respected  for  three  centuries  by  Aus- 
tria, was  to  open  its  gates  to  a  more  powerful  assailant,  the  spirit  of 
the  age."  The  Diet  of  1836  adopted  several  of  Szecheny's  proposed 
reforms ;  other  steps  in  the  same  direction  were  taken  by  that  of  1840  ; 
and  the  discussion  of  others  was  interrupted  only  by  the  thunder  of  the 
revolutions  of  Paris  and  Vienna.  Among  the  many  disastrous  conse- 
quences of  those  great  convulsions,  perhaps  the  most  lamentable  of 
all  was  the  interruption,  the  ruin,  of  Szecheny's  work  of  peaceful  re- 
form in  Hungary. 

The  brilliant  reputation  which  Szecheny  acquired  was  earned  as 
much  by  his  temperance,  and  his  regard  for  justice  and  the  rights  of 
all,  as  by  the  boldness  of  the  changes  that  he  proposed.  "  I  wish,"  he 
remarked,  "  to  awaken  my  countrymen  so  that  they  may  walk,  and 
not  that  they  may  throw  themselves  out  of  the  window."  His  popu- 
larity became  immense.  His  name  was  in  every  mouth,  and  the  coun- 
ties vied  with  each  other  in  sending  him  addresses  of  congratulation 
and  rights  of  citizenship.  When  he  arrived  in  any  village,  the  peasants 
went  out  to  meet  him  with  music,  and  called  him  their  father  and  liber- 
ator. The  Diet  of  Transylvania  sent  him  an  entire  gold  pen  several 
feet  in  length,  and  the  national  academy,  the  circle  of  nobility,  and  the 
institute  of  the  Hungarian  language,  at  the  same  time,  elected  him 
their  president.  His  name  was  given  to  the  first  steamboat  which 
glided  down  the  lower  Danube;  and  in  every  drawing  room  at  Pesth, 
the  stranger  might  see  an  engraving  in  which  Szecheny  appeared  in  a 
sort  of  apotheosis  surrounded  by  luminous  clouds,  while  beneath  Hun- 
gary was  represented  as  coming  out  of  chaos,  and  the  Danube,  covered 
by  vessels  of  all  nations,  flowed  on  majestically,  not  fretted  by  rocks 
or  rapids,  towards  the  sea.  It  is  afflicting  to  be  obliged  to  add,  that 
when,  in  1848,  Count  Szecheny  saw  his  great  work  interrupted,  his 
popularity  overcast,  his  place  usurped  by  demagogues  and  radicals  of 
the  lowest  stamp,  and  his  country  wrapped  in  the  flames  of  a  civil 
war,  the  shock  was  too  great  for  his  reason,  and  he  made  an  attempt 


on  his  life.  He  threw  himself  into  the  Danube,  whence  he  was  res- 
cued with  difficulty,  to  be  still  preserved,  let  us  hope,  till  he  can  again 
reap  his  reward  from  the  returning  reason  of  his  countrymen. 

It  is  much  to  the  credit  of  the  Austrian  government,  that  although 
Szecheny  was  the  leader  of  the  constitutional  opposition  in  the  Diet, 
it  adopted  nearly  all  his  projects  of  reform,  and  submitted  them,  under 
the  form  of  royal  propositions,  to  be  discussed  by  both  houses. — 
Strange  to  say,  also,  these  propositions  were  received  with  most  favor 
in  the  upper  house ;  many  of  the  magnates,  especially  the  younger 
ones,  warmly  welcomed  the  new  ideas  of  progress  and  social  reform. 

The  opposition  to  Szecheny's  plans  proceeded  chiefly  from  the 
inferior  or  untitled  nobility,  who  feared  that  the  overthrow  of  the 
ancient  feudal  constitution  would  also  be  the  downfall  of  the  inordinate 
privileges  and  political  influence  of  their  order.  They  were  the  only 
class  who  were  benefitted  by  the  retention  of  antiquated  customs  ; 
the  magnates,  with  their  vast  landed  estates,  and  having  the  entire 
control  of  the  upper  house  in  the  Diet,  would  still  be  predominant  in 
the  state,  even  if  their  feudal  privileges  should  be  swept  away.  But 
the  lesser  nobles,  many  of  whom  are  quite  poor,  would  have  no  more 
power  than  the  burghers  of  the  free  cities,  or  the  wealthier  class  of  the 
emancipated  peasants,  if  the  historical  ground  should  be  taken  away 
from  them,  and  the  abuses  and  inequalities  of  the  feudal  system  abol- 
ished. The  ancient  constitution  of  Hungary  was  made,  as  we  have 
seen,  solely  for  the  benefit  of  this  class ;  in  their  favor,  for  the  protec- 
tion of  their  order,  the  Golden  Bull  of  Andreas  II.  had  been  issued. 
Hitherto  every  one  of  their  number  had  called  himself  a  member  of 
the  crown  of  Hungary  ;  he  was  a  part  of  the  sovereignty.  Their  idea 
of  the  constitution  corresponded  perfectly  to  Rousseau's  definition  of 
the  government  of  Poland,  "  where  the  nobles  are  every  thing,  the 
burghers  nothing,  and  the  peasants  less  than  nothing."  Their  only 
scheme  of  political  conduct  was  to  allow  of  no  innovation  in  the 
ancient  customs  of  the  Magyars,  and  to  manifest  constant  jealousy  of 
the  house  of  Austria,  whose  interests  coincided  with  those  of  the 
oppressed  peasants  and  of  the  subject  races  of  the  population,  inasmuch 
as  these  ancient  customs  obstructed  the  political  influence  of  all  three. 
It  suited  the  untitled  nobles  to  declare,  that  they  were  contending  for 
the  ancient  liberties  of  Hungary,  when  in  fact  they  were  opposing  the 
emancipation  of  the  peasants,  and  endeavoring  to  prevent  the  subject 
Sclavonians  and  Wallachians  from  breaking  their  chains. 

It  was  natural,  therefore,  that  while  Szecheny  and  the  old  liberal 
party,  the  constitutional  opposition  in  the  Diet,  were  gradually  attract- 
ed towards  the  ministerialists  because  the  ministry  favored  their  plans 

28  THE    WAIt    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

of  social  amelioration,  a  new  and  more  radical  party  should  be  formed 
behind  them,  whose  politics  consisted  merely  in  inflexible  resistance  to 
the  crown,  and  in  opposition  to  Austrian  influence  on  all  occasions. 
Count  Bathiany  was  the  first  leader  of  this  new  party  ;  but  their  course 
soon  became  too  violent  and  excessive  to  be  favored  by  any  magnate, 
and  his  influence  was  superseded  by  that  of  Paul  Nagy  and  Kossuth, 
two  radical  deputies  who  had  become  distinguished  by  their  powers  in 
debate.  The  latter  of  these  is  even  a  Magyar  by  birth,*  who  attended 
the  Diet  of  1836  in  the  very  humble  capacity  of  secretary  of  one  of  its 
members.  He  soon  distinguished  himself  by  publishing  a  manuscript 
journal  of  the  proceedings,  (a  printed  one  being  prohibited  by  the  cen- 
sorship,) which  journal  was  actually  copied  by  hand,  and  circulated  in 
considerable  numbers  through  the  country.  Some  of  his  other  publi- 
cations transgressed  the  bounds  of  law  more  openly,  so  that  he  was 
apprehended  and  imprisoned  for  a  time.  When  released,  his  popularity 
having  grown  through  the  persecution  he  had  suffered,  he  was  chosen 
a  deputy,  and  became  of  course  a  more  flaming  patriot  than  ever. 
His  extraordinary  eloquence  led  captive  the  minds  of  his  hearers,  so 
that,  after  the  revolution,  he  acquired  the  entire  control  of  the  Diet, 
and  was  finally  appointed  Supreme  Dictator  of  Hungary  during  the 
war.  In  fact,  Kossuth's  party,  ever  since  it  was  organized,  has  been 
endeavoring  to  effect  a  complete  separation  of  Hungary  from  Austria, 
the  preservation  of  feudal  privileges  and  the  domination  of  the  Magyar 
race  being  of  more  importance  in  their  eyes  than  the  promotion  of  the 
commercial  and  other  material  interests  of  the  country  and  the  intel- 
lectual cultivation  of  its  people.  Szecheny  and  his  friends,  on  the 
other  hand,  aware  that  Hungary  would  be  thrown  into  an  isolated  and 
semibarbarous  position  if  cut  off  from  its  present  political  connection 
with  central  and  western  Europe,  have  aimed  to  secure  the  assistance 
of  Austria  in  developing  the  resources  of  the  kingdom,  adapting  its 
institutions  to  the  spirit  of  the  age,  and  diffusing  intelligence  and 
refinement  among  its  inhabitants.  This  party,  and  the  magnates 
generally,  seem  to  have  remained  passive  during  the  late  revolutionary 
war ;  one  of  the  Esterhazys  is  the  only  titled  noble  who  appears  to 
have  acted  with  the  insurgents. 

The  question  of  language  has  had  more  influence  than  any  other  on 
the  politics  of  Hungary  for  the  last  thirty  years.  In  a  country  where 
there  was  so  great  confusion  of  tongues,  it  was  absolutely  necessary 
that  some  one  language  should  be  chosen  for  a  universal  medium  in 
matters  of  government  and  legislation.     The  Latin. .has  long  been 

;       f 

*  Born  in  Jasz  Bereny  in  1807. 

THE    WAR    Oi>    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  29 

adopted  for  this  purpose,  its  use  having  come  down  fro  the  Middle 
Ages,  when  it  was  the  general  medium  of  learning  throughout  Europe, 
and  its  preservation  in  Hungary  so  long  after  it  was  abandoned  else- 
where being  due  to  the  rivalry  of  different  nationalities,  two  or  three 
of  which  have  been  offended  by  the  selection  of  any  living  language. 
The  Latin  was  neutral  ground,  on  which  the  German,  the  Magyar, 
the  Sclavonian,  and  the  Wallachian  could  meet  without  cause  of 
offence.  Joseph  II.  of  Austria,  a  philosophical  schemer  who  projected 
many  excellent  reforms,  but  spoiled  them  all  by  an  excessive  love  of 
system  and  uniformity,  and  by  a  want  of  tact  and  discretion  in  carry- 
ing them  out,  nearly  caused  a  repellion  in  Hungary  by  undertaking  to 
make  the  German  language  universal  there  ;  he  required  it  to  be  used 
in  all  public  acts,  in  all  schools  and  seminaries  of  education,  in  civil 
offices,  and  in  military  command.  The  haughty  Magyars  had  been 
already  offended  by  the  contempt  he  had  manifested  for  their  peculiar 
institutions ;  he  had  altered  the  organization  of  the  comitate,  or  coun- 
ties, those  little  federal  republics  first  established  by  St.  Stephen ;  he 
had  refused  to  be  crowned  king  of  Hungary,  and  had  even  carried 
away  the  golden  crown  from  Buda  to  Vienna ;  he  had  attempted  to 
impose  taxes  on  the  nobles.  These  things  they  had  borne,  though 
sulkily ;  but  when  he  attempted  to  supplant  their  language  by  the 
hated  German,  the  spirit  of  the  nation  was  effectually  roused,  and 
their  resistance  became  so  menacing  that  he  was  obliged  to  revoke  all 
his  reforms,  and  reestablish  Magyarism  throughout  Hungary.  As  he 
was  not  crowned  at  Buda,  his  acts  were  considered  null,  and  they  do 
not  now  appear  on  the  statute  book  of  the  kingdom.* 

The  Magyars  had  thus  vindicated  the  respect  due,  to,  their  own 
vernacular  tongue,  but  they  were  not  willing  to  respect  the  language 
aiK[th^_J^iona4^idhng~^~ertht5rF."  fi  v  consbintTy  pressing  the  Aus- 
trian government  on  this  point  ever  since  1800,  they  had  at  last  suc- 
ceeded in  causing  the  Latin  to  be  supplanted  by  the  Magyar  language 
in  the  deliberations  of  the  Diet  and  in  the  acts  of  the  government;  this 
change  was  not  consummated  tiU.1844  The  few  Sclavonians  in  the 
legislature  were  still  allowed,  as  of  necessity,  to  address  the  assembly 
in  Latin,  and  the  government  officials  sometimes  spoke  German,  though 
they  risked  their  popularity  by  so  doing.     Having  carried  this  point 

*  This  wise,  generous  and  most  humane  Monarch,  emancipated  also  the  peasants  in 
Hungary  from  the  oppression  of  their  spiritual  and  corporal  tyrants ;  he  granted  them 
free  lands,  &c. ;  but  these  humane  acls  were  by  the  Magyars  execrated  and  regarded  as 
diabolical  attempts  directed  against  their  feudal  rights.  The  rebels  addressed  the 
Emperor  in  th*  following  manner :  "  Josephe  Secunde,  Cassar  vagabunde,  audaciam  a 
patre,  pertinaciam  a  matre,  religionem  unde  accepisti,  Josephe  Secunde,  Csesar  vagar 
bunde."  . 

30  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

against  the  imperialists,  the  Magyars  attempted  to  impose  their  lan- 
guage upon  the  subject  races,  and  to  oblige  them  to  use  it  upon  all 
occasions.  The  schoolmasters  and  the  clergy,  in  every  province  and 
every  village,  though  it  might  be  inhabited  exclusively  by  Sclavonians 
and  Wallachians,  were  ordered  to  teach  and  to  preach  only  in  the 
Magyar  tongue.  This  law  created  great  irritation  everywhere,  but 
especially  in  Croatia.  This  province  is  in  the  same  situation  with 
regard  to  Hungary,  that  Hungary  holds  in  respect  to  Austria. — 
Together  with  its  sister  province  of  Sclavonia,  it  has  a  diet  of  its  own, 
which  meets  at  Agram,  and  is  allowed  to  send  three  representatives  to 
the  general  Hungarian  Diet  at  Presburg  or  Pesth.  The  chief  of  these 
two  provinces,  who  is  styled  the  Ban  of  Croatia,  holds  the  same  relative 
position  that  the  Palatine  does  in  Hungary  ;  he  is  responsible  directly 
to  the  emperor,  is  chosen  by  the  Croatian  Diet,  and  claims  to  act 
independently  of  the  Palatine.  The  Croats  were  very  willing  to 
abandon  the  Latin  for  the  sake  of  their  own  language,  but  not  for  the 
purpose  of  speaking  the  Magyar.  They  echoed  back  with  one  voice 
the  declaration  of  their  Diet,  nolumus  Magyarisari.  The  national 
feeling  was  effectually  roused  on  this  subject,  and  the  Hungarian  law 
was  reprobated  as  both  insulting  and  injurious.  The  Slowacks  of  the 
north  of  Hungary  united  with  them  in  resistance  to  the  law  ;  and  the 
Sclavonians  generally  were  attracted  towards  the  emperor,  and  sought, 
by  increasing  the  influence  of  Austria,  to  erect  for  themselves  a  barrier 
against  the  haughty  dominion  of  the  Magyars.  Ever  since  1830,  the 
deputies  of  Croatia  in  the  Hungarian  Diet  have  acted  Avith  the  Austrian 
ministry,  and  supported  the  propositions  of  the  Crown. 

The  quarrel  between  the  Magyars  and  the  Croatian s  has  brought 
out  in  strong  relief  the  characteristics  of  the  two  races.  Brave,  high- 
spirited,  and  imperious,  the  former  treated  the  complaints  of  their  an- 
cient subjects,  as  they  consider  them,  with  scorn,  and  heaped  new  pro- 
vocations on  them  just  at  the  moment  when  they  were  bringing  upon 
themselves  a  desperate  conflict  with  Austria.  More  patient  and  politic, 
the  Croatians  took  measures  to  secure  the  aid  both  of  the  emperor  and 
of  the  Russians  before  they  threw  defiance  in  the  teeth  of  the  Mag- 
yars. Kollar,  Gaj,  and  Jellachich  had  skillfully  excited  their  national 
feelings,  and  they  acted  together  with  great  firmness  and  unanimity. 
They  exposed  very  fully  the  inconsistency  of  the  Magyars,  who 
thought  it  natural  and  right  to  enfranchise  themselves  from  all  foreign 
dominion,  and  to  reconquer  their  individuality  as  a  nation  and  a  race ; 
but  who  were  astonished  and  indignant,  that  the  Illyrians  and  the  Wal- 
lachians, living  within  the  borders  of  Hungary,  should  experience  the 
same  desire  and  cherish  the  same  hopes.     The   Croatians  held  high 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  3^ 

and  menancing  language  to  compel  the  emperor  to  espouse  their  quar. 
rel.  In  a  memorial  addressed  to  him  before  hostilities  had  broken  out, 
they  exclaimed,  "  Emperor,  if  you  reject  our  prayers,  we  shall  know 
how  to  vindicate  our  liberty  without  you  ;  and  we  prefer  to  die  heroic- 
ally, like  a  Sclavonian  people,  rather  than  to  bear  any  longer  such  a 
yoke  as  is  imposed  upon  us  by  an  Asiatic  horde,  from  whom  we  have 
nothing  good  to  receive  or  to  learn.  Emperor,  know  that  we  prefer, 
if  we  must  choose  between  them,  the  knout  of  the  Russians  to  the  in- 
solence of  the  Magyars.  We  will  not,  on  any  terms,  belong  to  the 
Magyars.  Remember  that,  if  Croatia  forms  but  a  thirty -fifth  part  of 
your  empire,  the  Croatians  constitute  a  third  of  your  whole  infantry." 
Asa  farther  illustration  of  the  spirit  of  the  people  at  this  time,  we 
give  a  translation  of  a  Sclavonian  song,  written  by  one  of  their  patri- 
ots,  which  obtained  great  popularity  throughout  the  lllyrian  provinces  ■ 

"Whoever  is  a  Sclavonian  and  a  h  ero,  let  him  wave  his  banner  in  the  air!  let  him 
gird  on  his  sabre,  and  mount  his  fiery  steed.  Forward,  brothers  !  God  is  with  us,  and 
the  devils  are  our  enemies. 

"  See  how  the  black  and  savage  Tartar  i*  treading  our  nation  and  our  language  un- 
der foot.  Let  us  resist  before  he  prostrates  us.  Forward,  brothers  !  God  is  with  us, 
and  the  devils  are  our  enemies. 

"  Let  the  brave  Sclavonian  of  the  North  and  the  lllyrian  of  the  South  join  hands  at 
this  festival.  Behold  already  the  gleam  of  their  lances,  hear  the  sound  of  the  trumpets 
and  the  thunder  of  the  cannon.  Forward,  brothers  !  God  is  with  us,  and  the  devils 
are  our  enemies. 

"The  time  is  come  to  wash  ourselves  in  the  blood  of  our  enemies.  Let  each  one, 
then,  strike  down  a  head.  Forward,  brothers  !  God  is  with  us,  and  the  devils  are  our 

The  Sclavonians  were  not  the  only  enemies  within  the  bosom  of  their 
country  whom  the  Magyars  provoked.  The  Germans,  who  had  found- 
ed cities  in  the  interior,  establishing  themselves  as  commercial  and 
manufacturing  colonists  in  the  midst  of  this  rude  and  warlike  agricul- 
tural population,  were  made  to  feel  their  isolated  positon,  and  the  arro- 
gance of  the  aristocratic  masters  of  the  soil  around  them.  The  lines 
of  separation  between  the  heterogeneous  races  were  preserved  with 
Jewish  scrupulousness  ;  each  has  retained  its  language,  features,  dress, 
and  occupation  unchanged  for  centuries.  The  situation  of  the  Ger- 
mans is  most  peculiar  in  the  extreme  eastern  and  south-eastern  prov- 
inces, in  Transylvania  and  the  Banat.  Here  they  are  surrounded  by 
the  rude  and  fierce  Szeklers,  a  race  who  are  born  soldiers,  allied  in 
blood  and  language  to  the  Magyars,  whom  they  preceded  a  century 
or  two  in  the  occupation  of  the  country.  Their  banner  is  indicative  of 
their  character ;  it  bears  a  heart  pierced  through  and  through  with  a 
sword.  Amid  this  half-barbarous  people,  in  a  rugged  and  mountain- 
ous country  at  the  extreme  limit  of  European  civilization  towards  the 

32  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY, 

east,  a  colony  from  the  heart  of  Germany  was  established  in  the  course 
of  tne  twelfth  century ;  and  in  spite  of  the  disadvantages  of  their  sit- 
ation,  they  have  increased  in  numbers  and  wealth.  Their  blood  is  still 
as  pure  as  when  they  first  left  the  fatherland ;  their  fresh  aud  smiling 
German  faces,  their  fair  hair  and  light  complexion,  indicate  their  origin 
as  clearly,  as  do  their  prudent  and  economical  habits,  and  their  dogged 
industry.  These  grave  and  honest  burghers  are  republicans  by  descent 
and  in  predilection ;  they  reject  all  aristocracy,  and  choose  their  ma- 
gistrates by  universal  suffrage.  In  many  respects  they  remind  one  of 
the  flourishing  commercial  towns  of  the  Middle  Ages  ;  like  them,  they 
are  guarded  with  high  walls  and  strong  fortifications  against  the  semi- 
barbarous  people  without,  who  are  all  warriors,  and  who  are  organized 
like  a  camp  on  the  frontiers.  If  need  be,  these  flourishing  citizens  will 
fight  stoutly  in  defence  of  the  walls  which  guard  their  shops  and  their 

The  Magyars,  Szeklers,  and  the  Germans  formed  a  treaty  at  Torda 
in  the  fifteenth  century,  to  divide  Transylvania  between  them — the  two 
former  to  do  all  the  fighting,  and  the  latter  to  keep  the  cities  and  strong- 
holds. They  are  the  three  sovereign  nations,  as  they  call  themselves, 
though  they  number  all  together  less  than  a  million  ;  while  the  subject 
nations,  most  of  whom  are  Wallachans,  amount  to  a  million  and  a 
half.  These  had  no  part  in  the  union  of  Torda,  which  united  the 
three  races,  and  therefore  are  allowed  no  political  or  civil  rights. — 
They  cannot  elect  their  magistrates,  nor  fill  public  offices ;  they  are 
serfs,  and  cultivate  the  fields  of  their  masters.  The  Magyars,  though 
so  few  in  number,  helped  themselves  to  three-fourths  of  the  soil  of  Tran- 
sylvania ;  the  north  and  the  west,  including  Carlsbourg,  the  capital, 
ave  theirs.  The  Germans,  or  Saxons  as  they  are  here  called,  hold  the 
flourishing  cities  of  Cronstadt  and  Hermanstadt,  with  the  rich  territo- 
ry in  the  south,  and  the  district  of  Bistritz  in  the  north.  Their  towns 
were  originally  fortified  not  more  against  the- Turks  than  against  the 
Magyars;  and  they  have  just  had  renewed  occasion  to  use  them 
against  these  foes,  whose  desperate  valor,  however,  was  not  repelled 
by  them.  Naturally  attached  to  Germany  and  to  republican  institu- 
tions, they  saw  with  dismay,  after  the  grand  democratic  outbreak  of 
1848,  that  the  Magyars  were  separating  all  Hungary  from  Austria^ 
with  a  view  of  preserving  their  own  aristocratic  institutions,  and  lord- 
ing it  more  imperiously  than  ever  over  the  other  races  that  inhabited 
the  land.  They  immediately  sent  a  delegate  to  the  federative  Congress 
at  Frankfort  to  ask  for  aid  and  protection ;  but  the  theorists  in  this  dis- 
tracted assembly  had  neither  troops  nor  money  to  send  them,  and  they 
were  left  to  their  fate — to  the   arrogance  of  the  Magyars  whom  they 



had  offended  by  this  step,  and  to  the  ruthless  hostility  of  the  Szeklers. 
The  following  is  an  extract  from  the  address  sent  by  the  municipality 
of  Hermanstadt,  on  the  9th  of  June,  1848,  through  their  delegate  to 
the  Frankfort  Assembly. 

"  German  brothers,  seven  centuries  ago,  a  branch  of  the  nationa 
tree,  the  gigantic  oak  of  Germany,  was  planted  in  the  oriental  valleys 
of  the  Carpathian  mountains ;  its  extended  roots  have  penetrated  to  the 
soil  of  the  fatherland,  and  continually  drawn  nourishment  from  it. 
The  air  and  the  light  of  Germany  have  continued  to  warm  and  to  cheer 
us.  In  the  midst  of  the  aristocratic  and  feudal  institutions  of  the  other 
races  which  threaten  to  stifle  our  civilization,  we  have  remained  Ger- 
man  citizens.  Yes,  brothers ;  in  spite  of  the  local  separation,  we  have 
preserved  with  old  German  fidelity  the  manners  and  the  language  of  our 
common  ancestors.  At  the  moment  when  the  European  edifice  is 
everywhere  crumbling  into  ruin,  the  legislator,  like  Archimedes,  needs 
a  fixed  point  on  which  to  rest  and  sustain  the  world.  This  point  has 
been  found.  Let  the  German  fatherland  extend  to  every  region  where 
the  German  language  is  spoken.  With  our  whole  hearts  we  will  join 
you  in  causing  our  national  airs  to  resound  from  the  banks  of  the 
Vistula  to  those  of  the  Rhine.  The  children  have  not  forgotten  their 
mother,  the  mother  has  not  forgotten  her  children.  Generous  voices 
have  spoken  in  the  imperial  city,  in  this  very  assembly,  in  favor  of 
maintaining  the  rights  of  Transylvanian  Germany  ;  we  wish,  indeed, 
that  our  great  and  powerful  fatherland  had  used  a  bolder  tone,  and 
not  restricted  itself  to  entreating  the  little  nation  of  Magyars,  but  had 
ordered  it  to  respect  the  German  nationality." 

In  this  general  turmoil,  the  Wailachians,  also,  were  moved  to  de- 
mand a  restoration  of  those  rights,  the  common  rights  of  humanity,  of 
which  they  had  been  deprived  for  centuries.  Some  of  the  younger 
members  of  the  Greek  clergy  inspired  them  with  a  generous  ambition, 
and  taught  them  to  shake  impatiently  the  yoke  of  subjection  and  hel- 
otism  which  had'so  long  weighed  upon  their  necks.  The  example  of 
their  brethren  across  the  frontier,  also,  in  the  principalities  of  Moldavia 
and  Wallachia,  who  had  recently  driven  off  some  of  their  petty  local 
tyrants,  had  given  them  new  ideas  of  freedom  and  new  hopes  of  ame- 
liorating their  situation  by  their  own  efforts.  They  made  common 
cause  with  the  republican  Germans,  and  contributed  not  a  little  to 
distract  the  attention  and  divide  the  forces  of  the  Magyar  insurgents. 

The  war  in  Hungary,  then,  was  by  no  means  so  simple  an  affair 
as  most  persons,  have  imagined.  It  was  not  a  combined  effort  of  tha 
whole  people  of  a  subjugated  province  striving  to  regain  their  national 
independence.  Hungary  never  was  conquered  by  Austria ;  but  she 
sought  and  continued  the  alliance  as  a  means  of  protection  against  the 

34  THE    WAR    OF    RACES   IN    HUNGARY. 

Turks,  and  of  commercial  and  political  union  with  central  ami  western 
Europe.  It  was  not  a  republican  movement,  or  the  rising  of  the  lower 
classes  in  the  state  against  the  higher,  with  a  view  of  securing  a  more 
equal  distribution  of  political  rights  and  social  advantages.  Repub- 
licanism was  never  pretended  by  the  Magyars,  and  is  not  even  men- 
tioned in  their  Declaration  of  independence.  It  was  an  attempt  on 
the  part  of  the  Magyar  untitled  nobility,  000,000  in  number,  to  pre- 
serve the  ancient  feudal  constitution  of  the  state,  which  guarantied 
their  aristocratic  privileges  and  the  dominion- of  their  race,  against  the 
liberal  constitution  granted  by  the  emperor  of  Austria,  which  destroy- 
ed all  distinctions  of  rank  and  race,  and  established  the  modern  ideas 
of  equal  representation,  equal  suffrage,  the  freedom  of  the  press,  and 
the  liberty  of  individuals,  on  the  ruins  of  feudalism. 

In  the  general  mette  that  ensued,  each  party  and  race  fought  on  its 
own  hook  ;  each  formed  alliances  and  sought  support  with  a  view  only 
to  t  .„■  exigences  of  the  moment,  and  without  the  slighest  reference  to 
the  political  and  social  doctrines  of  those  whose  aid  they  invoked,  and 
whose  cause  they  really  subserved.  The  Magyars,  aristocrats  in  a 
double  sense,  both  as  an  order  and  a  race,  and  now  in  arms  to  preserve 
their  obsolete  feudal  institutions,  made  common  cause  with  the  Red 
Republicans  of  Vienna,  who,  like  their  brethren  throughout  Europe, 
aimed  simply  at  the  inversion  of  the  old  order  of  things,  and  the  utter 
destruction  of  all  existing  forms  of  society  and  government.  The 
Croats  and  other  Slavonians,  democratic  in  their  instincts  and  pur- 
poses, fought  gallantly  to  assist  the  emperor  of  Austria  in  crushing  the 
insurgent  nobility  of  Hungary.  The  republican  German  burghers  of 
Transylvania  united  themselves  first  with  the.  Wallachian  serfs  whose 
petition  for  emancipation  they  had  just  rejected,  and  then  invited  the 
Russians  into  the  country  to  protect  them  from  the  merciless  hostility 
of  the  Magyars  and  the  Szeklers.  At  their  call,  Russia  hastened  to 
help  them,  and  acted  \>ith  magnanimity  and  forbearance;  she  entered 
Hungary  only  at  the  request  and  under  the  obligation  of  humanity, 
to  protect  the  helpless  Germans  and  Wallachians;  her  army  crushed 
the  insurrection  by  one  decisive  blow,  and  then,  although  the  country 
was  entirely  in  her  power,  and  the  Sclavonians,  who  form  more  than 
half  of  its  population,  would  gladly  have  become  her  subjects,  she  has 
quietly  withdrawn  her  troops  without  making  any  demand  for  the  ex- 
penses of  the  war,  or  any  stipulation  for  her  own  territorial  aggran- 

This  statement  of  the  case  will  take  most  persons  in  this  country 
by  surprise ;  for  deceived  by  the  prose  dithyrambics  of  Kossuth,  by 
the  romantic  history,  chivalrous  daring,  and  theatrical  garb  and  man- 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  35 

ner  of  the  Magyars,  and  by  the  prodigious  lies  of  the  ultra  republican 
press  in  German}',  which  spread  a  fresh  report  of  the  utter  annihilation 
of  the  Austrian  and  Russian  armies  once  a  fortnight,  we  had  generally 
come  to  believe,  that  the  republican  cause  in  Europe  depended  on  the 
success  of  the  insurrection  in  Hungary,  and  that  this  cause  was  almost 
sure  to  succeed  from  the  unparalleled  bravery  and  activity  of  the 
Magyars.  The  newspapers  here  attacked  the  American  President 
with  severity,  because  he  did  not  immediately  recognize  the  indepen- 
dence of  Hungary,  and  send  out  a  special  minister  to  conclude  an 
offensive  and  defensive  alliance  with  the  gallant  insurgents.  It  is  true, 
that  we  can  never  have  any  intercourse  or  connection  with  this  isola- 
ted country  in  the  east  of  Europe,  which  has  not  a  single  seaport,'  any 
more  than  with  the  Cham  of  Tartary ;  but  this  fact  is  of  no  impor- 
tance in  the  eyes  of  those  who  believe  that  the  spirit  of  propagandism 
is  the  essence  of  republican  institutions.  But  the  cause  of  the  Magyars 
was  bad ;  they  sought  to  defend  their  antiquated  feudal  institutions, 
and  their  unjust  and  excessive  privileges  as  an  order  and  a  race,  against 
the  incursion  of  the  liberal  ideas  and  the  reformatory  spirit  of  the  nine- 
teenth century. 

We  can  notice  only  very  briefly  a  few  incidents  in  the  history  of  the 
struggle  which  illustrate  those  peculiarities  in  the  internal  condition  of 
Hungary  that  we  have  endeavored  to  point  out.  When  the  revolution 
of  .arch  at  Vienna,  and  the  flight  of  Metternich,  had  seemingly  dis- 
solved the  Austrian  empire,  and  left  each  of  its  component  parts  to 
crystallize  into  new  forms  under  its  own  internal  affinities,  as  many 
distinct  revolutionary  movements  were  made  as  there  were  different 
races  which  had  hitherto  acknowledged  the  authority  of  the  emperor. 
The  people  of  Venice  and  Lombardy  threw  off  all  connection  with 
Germany,  and  sought  a  union  with  the  Italian  patriots  throughout  the 
peninsula.  The  radical  party  in  the  Hungarian  Diet  at  once  obtained 
the  ascendancy,  and  decreed  that  Hungary  in  future  should  have  an 
independent  administration  and  a  separate  ministry,  including  even  a 
department  for  foreign  affairs ;  that  is,  it  decided  to  retain  all  the 
advantages,  but  to  acknowledge  none  of  the  reciprocal  obligations,  of 
its  connection  with  Austria.  Hard  as  these  conditions  were,  they 
were  accepted  without  remonstrance  by  the  terrified  and  powerless 
imperial  government.  The  two  races  who  form  the  population  of 
Bohemia  broke  out  into  open  hostilities  against  each  other ;  the  Czechs 
or  Sclavonians,  numbering  nearly  three  millions,  sought  to  avenge 
themselves  for  the  long  subjection  in  which  they  had  been  held  by  the 
Germans,  who  are  hardly  half  as  numerous.  They  demanded,  among 
other  things,  that  the  two  races  should  be  admitted  to  an  equality  of 

36  the  war  of  races  in  Hungary. 

political  rights,  and  that  all  public  officers  should  be  required  to  speak 
both  languages.  The  Emperor  instantly  granted  all  they  asked.  The 
Czechs  of  Moravia  and  Silesia  joined  the  movement,  and  a  call  was 
issued  for  a  grand  congress,  to  meet  at  Prague  on  the  31st  of  May,  to 
take  measures  for  establishing  Sclavonic  independence  on  a  firm  basis. 

Meanwhile,  the  Croatians  and  other  Sclavonians  of  the  south  were 
not  idle.  The  Ban  Jellachich  invited  all  the  Austro-Sclavonic  coun- 
tries to  send  delegates  to  a  Diet  to  be  held  at  Agram,  on  the  5th  of 
June;  he  also  opened  communications  with  Count  Leo  Thun,  the 
leader  of  the  Czech  party  in  Bohemia,  and  proposed  to  act  in  concert 
with  him  in  all  measures  intended  to  promote  the  emancipation  and 
welfare  of  the  race  to  which  they  both  belonged.  But  the  headlong 
zeal  of  the  Bohemian  Sclavonians  wellnigh  made  shipwreck  of  the 
whole  affair.  The}'  established  an  independent  provisional  govern- 
ment on  the  29th  of  May  ;  but  the  ministry  at  Vienna  denounced  this 
provisional  government,  and  Prince  Windischgratz,  then  the  Austrian 
governor  of  Prague,  encouraged  by  the  German  citizens  who  rallied 
around  him,  took  a  firm  stand  in  opposition  to  the  revolutionists,  and 
expostulated  with  them  on  their  mad  proceedings.  The  Sclavonians 
were  roused  to  fury,  and  a  mob  of  them  having  beset  his  palace,  a 
conflict  ensued,  and  the  Princess  Windischgratz  was  killed  by  a  musket 
shot.  The  bereaved  husband  still  remonstrated  with  them  in  mild  lan- 
guage, but  instead  of  listening  to  him,  they  pressed  forward  j^et  more 
eagerly,  and  attempted  to  seize  him  as  a  hostage.  The  troops  then 
interfered,  and  after  a  short  but  sharp  conflict,  the  rioters  were  driven 
back,  and  Windischgratz  left  the  city  with  his  forces,  and  took  post 
on  the^  neighboring  heights.  There  he  was  soon  joined  by  Count 
Mensdorff  with  troops  from  Vienna,  and  as  the  insurgents  continued 
obstinate,  he  commenced  bombarding  the  city  on  the  15th  of  June. 
In  two  days,  the  greater  part  of  Prague  was  laid  in  ashes,  and  the 
Czechs  were  compelled  to  surrender.  Then,  of  course,  the  Sclavonian 
congress  and  the  provisional  government  were  dissolved;  and  both 
races  in  Bohemia,  exhausted  by  the  conflict  and  pained  by  the  desola- 
tion it  had  caused,  resumed  their  allegiance  to  the  emperor,  and  waited 
for  the  gradual  development  of  political  reform. 

During  the  short  ascendency  of  the  Czechs,  they  had  induced  or 
compelled  the  government  at  Vienna  to  admit  one  of  their  leaders, 
Palazky,  into  the  imperial  ministry.  The  pride  of  the  Magyars  took 
fire  at  this  concession  to  the  Sclavonian  race,  and  Count  Bathiany, 
their  envoy  at  Vienna,  remonstrated  in  strong  terms  against  the 
measure,  as  it  tended  to  encourage  the  Slowacks,  who  were  already 
in  rebellion  in  the  north  of  Hungary.    On  the  other  hand,  Jellachich 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  37 

and  the  Cvoatians  supported  Palazky.  The  emperor,  who,  in  the 
middle  of  May,  had  secretly  left  his  capital  and  taken  refuge  at  Inn- 
spruck,  temporized  at  first ;  but  as  the  conduct  of  the  Czechs  at 
Prague  grew  more  outrageous,  he  became  more  hostile  to  the  Sclavo- 
nian  cause,  and  summoned  the  Ban  to  meet  him  in  the  Tyrol,  and  to 
give  an  account  of  his  conduct.  Jellachich  not  only  refused,  but 
attended  the  Sclavonian  Diet  which  he  had  called  at  A  gram,  where  he 
was  formerly  elected  Ban  by  that  assembly,  having  hitherto  held  his 
office  by  imperial  appointment.  The  Emperor  then  denounced  him  as 
a  rebel,  and  ordered  him  to  be  deprived  of  all  his  offices  and  titlew; 
the  Austrian  Marshal  Hrabowsky,  with  a  considerable  body  of  troops, 
was  sent  to  enforce  these  commands  by  the  invasion  of  Crotia  and 
Sclavonia.  The  cities  of  Carlowitz  and  Neustadt  were  immediately 
invested  by  the  Marshal,  and  compelled  to  surrender,  the  former  after 
a  severe  bombardment. 

The  cause  of  the  Sclavonians  now  seemed  hopeless,  and  but  for  the 
politic  conduct  of  Jellachich  and  his  advisers,  their  race  would  proba- 
bly have  been  reduced  to  their  former  political  insignificance  and  sub- 
jection. Threatened  by  the  Magyars,  and  actually  invaded  by  the 
Austrians,  the  insurrection  of  the  Czechs  being  entirely  suppressed, 
and  that  of  the  Slowacks  being  too  feeble  and  isolated  to  afford  any 
material  aid  to  the  Croatians,  the  cause  was  lost  if  the  latter  could 
not  effect  a  compromise  with  one  of  the  parties  now  in  arms  against 
them.  The  haughty  and  warlike  Magyars  would  make  no  terms  with 
those  whom  they  regarded  as  their  revolted  subjects,  whom  they  had 
ruled  wifcto  absolute  dominion  for  ten  centuries.  A  conference  between 
Jellachich  and  Bathiany  at  Vienna,  in  July,  1848,  only  showed  that 
the  hostility  of  the  two  races  was  implacable.  When  they  separated, 
the  latter  exclaimed,  "  We  shall  meet  again  on  the  Drave,"  the 
northern  boundary  of  Croatia  ;  "  No,"  answered  Jellachich,  "  but  on 
the  Danube."  The  Ban  then  proceeded  to  Innspruck,  where  he  satis- 
fied his  royal  master,  that  his  countrymen  would  gladly  continue  their 
allegiance  to  the  house  of  Austria,  if  they  should  be  allowed  to  retain 
their  language,  and  to  enjoy  those  rights  which  the  emperor  had 
promised  to  all  his  subjects.  To  contend  against  them,  he  said,  was 
only  to  assist  the  Magyars  ;  for  if  subdued,  the}7  must  become  subjects 
of  Hungary,  which  country  now  retained  only  a  nominal  connection 
with  the  empire.  <  The  Magyars  were  the  common  enemies  of  the 
imperialists  and  the  Croatians ;  they  asserted  their  independence  of 
the  former,  while  striving  to  rivet  their  chains  upon  the  latter.  To 
adopt  the  cause  of  the  Croatians  would  be  to  conciliate  all  the  Sclavo- 
nians, who  formed  more  than  half  of  the  population  of  the  empire  ; 

38  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

while  the  Magyars  numbered  but  little  over  four  millions,  and  were 
hated  alike  by  Wallachians,  Germans,  and  Sclavonians,  at  the  same 
time  that  they  were  disloyal  to  the  emperor. 

These  reasons  being  conclusive,  the  emperor  did  not  hesitate  to 
unite  the  imperial  forces  with  the  Croatians  and  to  commission  the  Ban 
Jellachich  himself,  to  put  down  the  insurrection  in  Hungary.  This  ar- 
rangement, however,  was  kept  secret  for  a  time,  to  await  the  result  of 
negotiation  with  the  Magyars.  But  this  haughty  and  imperious  race 
aited  for  no  compromise,  and  their  spirits  only  rose  as  the  number  of 
eir  enemies  increased.  Their  Diet  voted  an  extraordinary  contribu- 
tion of  a  hundred  millions  of  florins,  a  levy  of  two  hundred  thousand 
men,  and  an  issue  of  two  hundred  millions  of  paper  money.  It  was 
also  proposed  to  recall  the  Hungarian  regiments  that  were  serving  un- 
der Radetsky  in  Lombardy  ;  but  Kossuth  cried  out  "  Beware  what 
you  do  !  They  are  Croats  and  Sclavonians  whom  you  wish  to  recall." 
The  old  liberal  party  of  the  constitutional  opposition  in  the  Diet,  led 
by  such  men  as  Szecheny  and  Deak,  and  even  Bathiany,  who  was  far 
more  radical  in  his  politics,  protested  against  these  headlong  proceed- 
ings, and  recommended  delay  and  negotiation ;  but  the  danger  was 
imminent,  the  excitement  was  intense,  and  as  usual  in  such  cases,  the 
fanatics  and  ultraists,  headed  by  Kossuth  and  Szemeree,  carried  every 
thing  their  own  way.  It  was  when  defeated  in  debate  on  this  occa- 
sion, that  the  noble  Szecheny,  seeing  that  his  influence  was  lost,  and 
the  fate  of  his  country  w^is  sealed  by  the  madness  of  its  demagogues, 
made  an  attempt  upon  his  own  life  The  magnates  generally  aban- 
doned the  cause  at  thiscrisis  ;  they  would  not  fight  against «their  coun- 
trymen, but  neither  could  they  lead  them  onwards  to  certain  destruc- 
tion. They  retired  to  their  estates,  or  left  the  country.  Kossuth  and 
the  untitled  nobles,  assisted  by  the  peasants  of  their  race,  alone  pro- 
voked the  contest ;  and  never  did  a  large  body  of  men  fight  more  gal- 
lantly in  support  of  an  unwise,  unjust,  and  desperate  undertaking. 

Their  situation,  indeed,  was  perilous  in  the  extreme.  Early  in  Sep- 
tember, 1848,  Jellachich  took  the  command  of  all  the  imperial  troops 
in  Croatia  and  Sclavonia,  the  Austrian  Marshal  Hrabowsky  quietly  re- 
signing  his  post  to  him,  and  prepared  to  cross  the  Drave  and  march 
upon  Pesth.  The  venerable  Greek  patriarch  Raiachich,  putting  aside 
his  sacred  functions  for  a  time,  led  an  irregular  force  of  brave  but  un- 
trained Sclavonian  volunteers,  collected  from  the  borders  of  the  Banat, 
to  lay  waste  the  country  of  the  Magyars  in  the  south-east.  The  Slo 
wacks  were  in  arms  in  the  north  ;  and  the  Wallachians  of  Transylva- 
nia threatened  an  insurrection  in  the  east.  The  Diet  of  this  province, 
in  which  the  Magyars  and  Szeklers  formed  a  large  majority,  had  just 

THE    WAR    OF    RAOI5S    IN    HUNGARY.  39 

voted,  it  is  true,  to  make  common  cause  with  Hungary  ;  but  the  Sax- 
ons, far  from  joining  in  this  vote,  were  outraged  by  it;  and  the  irrita- 
ted Wallachians,  forming  more  than  half  of  the  whole  population, 
made  the  opposition  in  this  quarter  still  more  formidable.  A  regiment 
of  them,  hastily  conducted  by  their  Magyar  officers  as  far  as  Szege- 
din,  suddenly  halted,  wheeled  about,  and  marched  back  again  to  their 
mountains.  To  this  circle  of  foes  the  Magyars  as  yet  could  oppose 
only  a  few  regiments  of  cavalry,  for  the  Hungarian  infantry  was  chief- 
ly made  up  of  Sclavonians.  and  time  was  required  to  bring  together 
and  discipline  the  great  levy  which  the  Diet  had  decreed,  and  which 
soon  became  ''  the  insurrection."  To  gain  time  for  raising  these  forces, 
and  to  avenge  the  defection  of  the  emperor  from  their  cause,  the  Mag- 
yars resolved  to  wage  war  against  him  in  his  own  capital. 

The  radicals  at  Vienna  formed  hardly  a  tenth  part  of  the  constitu- 
ent assembly ;  but  they  had  on  their  side  the  dregs  of  the  populace, 
and  the  "  academical  legion."  composed  not  only  of  the  youth  of  the 
university,  but  of  Polish,  Italian,  and  German  refugees,  the  reckless 
Free  Companions  of  the  revolutionary  cause  throughout  Europe. — 
Some  who  haii  manned  the  barricades  of  June  at  Paris  came  to  fight 
against  the  emperor  at  Vienna  in  September.  The  grave  citizens,  the 
bourgeoisie,  who  dreaded  a  recurrence  of  the  confusion  and  anarchy 
of  the  preceding  spring,  and  therefore  had  welcomed  their  sovereign 
when  he  returned  from  Innspruck,  regarded  the  signs  of  another  insur- 
rection with  dismay,  but  had  not  spirit  and  bravery  enough  to  protect 
themselves  against  a  desperate  faction.  The  Magyars  determined  to 
agitate  these  elements  of  sedition  and  civil  war,  and  thus  to  give  the 
imperialist  troops  emplo}'ment  at  home  for  a  while,  till  the  means  of 
resistance  could  be  organized  in  Hungary  ;  and  the  offer  of  their  aid 
from  without  was  eagerly  accepted  by  the  revolutionists  within  the 
city.  A  deputation  from  the  Hungarian  Diet  came  to  Vienna  on  the 
10th  of  September,  to  make  known  their  demands  to  the  emperor, 
which  were  that  he  should  approve  their  recent  votes  tor  raising  men 
and  money,  should  again  denounce  Jellachich  and  the  Sclavonians  as 
rebels,  and  should  come  to  take  up  his  residence  at  Pesth  among  Mag- 
yars, so  as  to  give  a  visible  and  undoubted  sanction  to  their  proceed- 
ings. These  demands  being  refused,  the  deputation,  one  hundred  and 
sixty  in  number,  sullenly  withdrew ;  and  when  they  had  reached  the 
steamer,  they  tore  down  the  Austro-Hungarian  colors,  raised  the  red 
flag,  and  returned  down  the  Danube.  The  color  adopted  was  a  sig- 
nificant one,  and  it  excited  so  much  indignation  at  Presburg,  the  former 
place  of  meeting  of  the  Magyar  Diet,  that  the  boat  was  fired  at  from 
the  bank.     But  both  at  Vienna  and  at  Pesth,  the  populace  greeted   it 

40  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

with  shouts.  Another  deputation,  sent  a  week  afterwards  to  the  con- 
stituent assembly  at  Vienna,  was  refused  an  audience;  and  the  indig- 
nant Magyars  instantly  proclaimed  Kossuth  dictator  with  full  powers, 
and  sent  out  forces  to  meet  Jellachich,  who  had  already  crossed  the 
Drave.  Yet  the  emperor  made  one  other  attempt  at  pacification, 
though  it  was  obvious  that  the  hour  had  passed.  Count  Lamberg,  a 
marshal  of  the  empire,  was  sent  to  Pesth  with  full  powers  to  treat  and 
to  take  command  of  the  forces.  The  count  bravely  set  out  on  foot 
from  Buda,  without  an  escort,  to  cross  the  river  and  hold  a  conference 
with  the  Diet  in  Pesth.  But  he  was  arrested  by  a  furious  mob  on  the 
bridge,  and  though  he  claimed  protection  as  a  minister  of  peace  be- 
tween the  emperor  and  Kossuth,  he  was  brutally  murdered,  and  his  re- 
mains were  treated  with  shocking  indignity. 

The  crisis  had  now  arrived,  and  important  events  succeeded  each 
other  with  great  rapidity.  The  emperor  issued  a  proclamation  de- 
nouncing Kossuth  and  his  partisans,  dissolving  the  Diet,  annulling  its 
previous  acts,  proclaiming  martial  law  throughout  Hungary,  and  ap- 
pointing the  Ban  Jellachich  commander  of  all  the  imperial  forces  there, 
with  full  powers  as  royal  commissioner.  Some  of  the  troops  then  at 
Vienna  were  ordered  to  march  to  the  assrstance  of  Jellachich ;  but 
when  they  attempted  to  leave  the  city,  the  insurrection,  fed  with  sup- 
plies of  men  and  money  by  the  Magj^ars,  broke  out  with  great 
violence.  The  national  assembly  was  overawed,  the  emperor  was 
again  obliged  to  fly,  Count  Latour,  the  minister  of  war,  was  murdered 
and  his  body  was  hung  up  for  hours  as  a  target  for  the  insurgents  to 
fire  at,  and  terrorism  was  again  triumpnant  in  Vienna.  The  Czechs 
of  Bohemia,  so  recently  subdued  by  the  cannon  of  Windischgratz,  now 
joined  hands  with  their  brother  Sclavonians  from  Croatia  ;  they  adopted 
the  emperor's  cause  with  enthusiasm,  and  invited  him  to  transfer  his 
residence  to  his  loyal  city  of  Prague,  where  every  other  house  had 
been  half  ruined  by  his  artillery.  Prince  Windischgratz,  with  his  ranks 
recruited  from  these  reconciled  subjects  of  the  empire,  moved  up  his 
army  to  assist  Von  Auersperg  in  the  investment  of  Vienna  ;  and  Jel- 
lachich, already  advanced  half  way  in  his  northward  course  from  the 
Drave  towards  Pesth,  turned  quickly  to  the  northwest,  and,  passing  by 
Raab,  came  to  interpose  with  his  corps  between  the  city  and  the  suc- 
cor which  the  insurgents  had  been  led  to  expect  from  Hungary.  The 
Magyar  "  insurrection"  was  not  yet  brought  into  the  field  and  organ- 
ized,  so  that  but  few  troops  could  be  sent  to  the  assistance  of  the  Vien- 
nese ;  and  these  came  late,  and  were  easily  defeated  and  driven  back 
by  the  Ban.  Kossuth,  it  must  be  confessed,  made  politic  use  of  his 
radical  friends  in  the  capital;  their  outbreak,  into, which  he  had  in- 

f  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  41 

cited  them,  gave  employment  for  several  weeks  to  three  armies  of  the 
imperialists,  which  would  otherwise  have  been  immediately  directed 
upon  Hungary,  where  they  would  have  crushed  the  rebellion  before 
its  forces  were  developed.  The  interval  afforded  by  the  seige  of  Vienna 
was  employed  by  the  Magyars  in  collecting  their  forces,  and  forming 
their  plans  for  the  desperate  struggle  which  was  to  come.  Vienna 
was  taken  by  assault  on  the  31st  of  October,*  Blum  and  Messenhau- 
ser,  two  leaders  of  the  insurgents,  were  shot,  and  a  third,  Bern,  the 
celebrated  Polish  refugee,  escaped  only  by  taking  the  place  of  a  corpse 
in  a  bier,  and  was  carried  out  of  the  gates  by  the  funeral  procession. — 
Faithful  to  his  profession  as  a  military  propagandist  of  the  revolution- 
ary cause  in  many  lands,  Bern  hastened  to  offer  his  services  to  the 
Magyars,  and  received  the  command  of  their  forces  in  Transylvania- 
Windischgratz  and  Jellachich  led  their  forces  down  the  Danube  to  the 
capture  of  Pesth,  and  the  war  in  Hungary  was  fairly  begun. 

Even  at  this  late  hour,  had  the  Magyars  been  willing  to  adopt  a 
conciliatory  policy,  and  to  promise  to  the  Croats  and  other  Sclavo- 
nians  that  they  should  be  admitted  to  an  equality  of  civil  and  political 
rights  with  themselves,  should  be  allowed  to  speak  their  own  language, 
to  elect  their  own  provincial  rulers,  and  to  be  represented  in  the 
national  Diet  in  proportion  to  their  numbers,  the  whole  population  of 
Hungary,  including  its  dependent  provinces,  might  have  been  united 
in  arms,  and  Austria  must  have  withdrawn  her  forces  in  despair.  A 
country  inhabited  by  fourteen  millions  of  people,  unanimous  in  their 
desire  to  be  free,  could  never  have  been  subdued  by  armies  from 
without.  So  strongly  were  the  Polish  refugees  impressed  with  this 
truth,  that  they  repeatedly  urged  Kossuth  and  his  party  to  negotiate 
with  the  Croatians;  Dembinski,  their  ablest  general,  had  quitted  Paris 
on  the  stipulated  condition  with  the  agent  of  Hungary,  who  had  been 
sent  to  ask  his  aid  and  that  of  iris  exiled  countrymen,  that  the  Magyars 
should  consent  to  make  a  treaty  with  the  Sclavonians,  and  guarantee 
to  them  their  local  liberties  and  their  nationality.  Uniting  his  influence 
with  that  of  Bern,  for  the  Poles,  being  themselves  a  Sclavonic  race, 
were  all  anxious  to  unite  their  Croatian  and  Slowack  brethren  with 
them  in  hostility  to  Austria,  he  succeeded  in  causing  the  forces  of  the 
insurgents  to  be  denominated  the  Magyar-Sclavonic  army.  But  thfs 
was  the  whole  concession  which  they  were  able  to  extort  from  their 

*  The  people  of  Vienna  afterwards  avenged  themselves  by  caricatures  on  the  Mag- 
yars, who  had  promised  to  die  for  the  German  democracy,  and  had  done  so  little  to  keep 
their  word.  One  print  represented  a  member  of  tlie  Academical  Legion,  on  the  top  of 
the  tower  of  St.  Stephen's,  turning  a  telescope  towards  Hungary,  and  saying,  "  I  do 
not  see  that  anybody  is  coming." 


42  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  • 

allies.  The  Magyars  were  fighting  to  support  the  old  dominion  of 
their  race  and  the  ancient  constitution  of  Hungary,  which  secured  to 
them,  though  they  were  less  than  four  and  a  half  millions  in  number, 
the  entire  control  ol  a  country  peopled  by  fourteen  millions.  To 
make  terms  with  Jellachich  would  be  to  give  up  the  whole  object  of 
the  war ;  for  the  union  with  Austria  had  never  been  felt  by  them  as  a 
burden,  and  ever  since  the  Vienna  revolution  of  March,  1848,  that 
union  had  been  merely  nominal.  With  an  independent  Diet,  an  inde- 
pendent ministry,  and  a  Palatine  elected  by  themselves,  they  could 
dictate  their  own  terms  to  the  crippled  and  distracted  empire  ;  and  of 
their  own  accord,  they  had  kept  up  for  six  months  an  apparent  con- 
nection with  it,  as  both  their  political  and  commercial  interests  would 
have  suffered  from  an  absolute  separation.  The  war  had  originated  in 
September,  in  what  they  called  "  the  rebellion"  of  the  Croatians,  the 
Slowacks,  the  Wallachians,  and  the  Saxon  colonists  of  Transylvania ; 
and  some  time  elapsed  before  Austria  became  fairly  involved  in  it  by 
espousing  the  cause  of  "  the  Sclavons."  Consequently,  the  first  object 
of  the  Magyars  was  to  crush  their  internal  foes  ;  while  the  Polish 
exiles,  their  allies,  sought  only  to  avenge  their  country's  ancient 
wrongs  by  destroying  the  Austrian  empire,  and  even  menacing  the 
Czar.  This  division  of  purpose  caused  a  division  also  of  the  forces  of 
the  insurgents.  In  the  south  and  east,  Bern  and  Dembinski  com- 
manded each  a  separate  partisan  corps,  a  motley  collection  of  exiles, 
deserters,  and  fugitives  of  whatever  race  ;  for  as  these  generals  had 
no  antipathy  to  the  other  Hungarian  races,  they  sought  to  entice  as 
many  of  them  as  possible  to  their  own  standards,  and  to  wage  a  war 
of  extermination  against  those  who  continued  to  act  with  the  enemy. 
The  main  body  of  the  Magyars,  being  thus  protected  in  their  rear  and 
on  their  flanks  from  the  Sclavonic,  Wallachian,  and  Saxon  insurgents, 
were  free  to  act  under  Gorgey,  a  general  of  their  own  race,  against  the 
forces  of  the  Austrians,  whom  they  would  probably  have  overmatched, 
if  the  impolitic  and  ruthless  conduct  of  Bern  had  not  afforded  a 
pretence  for  the  emperor  Nicholas  to  enter  into  the  conflict. 

We  cannot  follow  in  detail  the  history  of  the  war,  and  can  notice 
but  briefly  the  circumstances  which  led  to  the  most  important  event  in 
it,  the  intervention  of  Russia.  Nowhere  was  the  outbreak  of  actual 
hostilities  regarded  with  more  dismay  than  in  Transylvania.  The 
unhappy  Saxons  and  Wallachians  found  themselves  exposed  to  the 
utmost  fury  of  the  Magyars  and  Szeklers,  while,  by  their  isolated 
position  in  the  east,  they  were  deprived  of  all  hope  of  succor  from 
Austria  and  the  west  of  Germany.  The  great  central  plain  of  Hun- 
gary was  occupied  by  the  Magyar  "  insurrection,"  now  developed  to 

THE    WAR    OF    RACKS    IK    HUNGARY.  43 

its  full  extent ;  Jellachich  and  his  Croatians  in  the  south  had  now 
enough  to  do  to  defend  themselves.  Central  Hungary  is  traversed  by 
two  great  rivers,  the  Danube  and  the  Theiss,  running  from  north  to 
south,  and  forming  excellent  successive  lines  of  defence.  Far  in  the 
west,  the  imperialist  army  had  to  cross  this  vast  and  defensible  plain, 
admirably  suited  for  the  operations  of  cavalry,  in  which  the  chief 
strength  of  the  Hungarians  consisted,  and  to  vanquish  the  whole 
Magyar  nation,  before  they  could  throw  troops  into  Transylvania. 
The  first  object  of  Kossuth  was  to  put  down  with  great  severity  all 
opposition  in  this  province,  so  that  the  Magyars  might  be  protected  in 
their  rear,  and,  if  necessary,  might  retreat  safely  in  that  quarter  into  a 
woody  and  mountainous  region.  Bands  of  the  fierce  and  warlike 
Szeklers  were  therefore  sent  out  in  all  directions,  who  hunted  the 
unarmed  Wallachian  peasants  like  wolves,  and  menaced  the  fortified 
cities  of  the  Saxons.  Terror  everywhere  prevailed,  as  the  Austrian 
general  Puchner,  who  commanded  in  the  province,  had  only  a  few 
troops,  who  could  offer  no  serious  defence.  The  grave  German 
burghers  were  unused  to  war,  and  the  Wallachians  were  an  unarmed 
and  undisciplined  crowd. 

But  a  hasty  attempt  was  made  to  organize  their  means  of  protec- 
tion. A  junto  of  government  was  formed,  under  the  presidency  of 
Puchner,  consisting  of  two  deputies  from  the  Saxon  cities,  and  the 
Greek  bishop  Schaguna,  who,  with  a  rich  merchant,  named  Argidau, 
represented  the  Wallachians.  The  district  of  Bistritz,  in  the  north, 
was  already  in  possession  of  the  enemy,  and  such  forces  as  this  junto 
could  collect  were  drawn  together  to  cover  (ronstadt  and  Hernian- 
stadt  in  the  south.  Against  these  cities,  in  January,  1849,  General 
Bern,  who  had  left  his  coffin,  advanced  at  the  head  of  10,000  men, 
composed  of  Poles,  Szeklers,  Kossuth's  hussars,  and  a  few  Wal- 
lachians incorporated  by  compulsion  with  their  enemies.  He  marched 
rapidly  through  the  duchy,  ravaging  and  burning  on  his  way  the  Wal- 
lachian villages  and  Saxon  settlements  in  the  upper  country,  and 
driving  the  few  Austrian  troops  towards  Hermanstadt.  Fugitives 
coming  from  every  quarter,  and  driving  before  them  their  weaned 
beasts  and  flocks,  sought  refuge  in  this  city  ;  looking  back  fi  om  its 
walls,  they  could  see  the  smoke  of  their  burning  villages,  and  fancy 
that  they  heard  the  cries  of  the  aged  and  the  feeble,  who  had  fallen  on 
the  road,  and  were  now  suffering  all  the  extremities  of  civil  war  from 
the  savage  Szeklers.  As  Bern's  object  was  to  terrify  the  poor  Wal- 
lachian peasants  into  inaction  during  the  war,  and  as  their  former 
degraded  condition  and  their  use  of  a  different  language  caused  his 
men  to  regard  them  hardly  as  human  beings,  though  they  were  to  be 

44  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

punished  as  runaway  and  contumacious  serfs,  the  atrocities  committed 
by  his  army  almost  exceed  belief.  An  English  officer,  who  was  taken 
prisoner  by  him  at  Clausenburg,  and  detained  for  weeks  under  a  con- 
stantly repeated  threat  of  being  tried  by  a  drumhead  court  martial  and 
shot,  gives  a  vivid  account  of  the  barbarity  of  his  troops. 

"  At  Marosvasarhely,"  he  writes,  "  in  the  prison  where  I  slept,  a 
Wallachian  priest  and  his  nephew  were  murdered  at  my  side ;  the 
soldiers  had  been  ordered  to  conduct  them  to  Debreczin,  but  they 
wished  to  save  themselves  this  trouble.  Six  Saxons  had  the  same  fate, 
and  were  shot  down  by  the  soldiers  who  had  been  detailed  to  guard 
them.  But  few  detachments  of  prisoners  arrived  at  their  destination  : 
they  were  generally  murdered  in  some  defile.  On  the  morning  of  the 
12th  of  March,  while  passing  through  the  last  forest  which  separated 
us  from  the  frontier,  we  suddenly  heard  a  volley  of  musketry ;  a  quar- 
ter of  an  hour  afterwards,  we  came  to  an  opening  in  the  woods,  where 
I  found  the  bodies,  still  warm,  of  seventeen  Wallachians.  The 
Szeklers  who  had  just  shot  them  joined  my  escort,  and  when  asked  if 
their  prisoners  had  given  them  any  cause  of  complaint,  '  No,  truly/ 
answered  one  of  them ;  '  but  thank  God,  there  are  now  alive  seven- 
teen Wallachians  less  than  there  were  yesterday.'  " 

We  may  imagine  how  much  consternation  was  created  by  the  ap- 
pearance of  Bern's  army  before  Hermanstadt,  the  fortifications  of 
which,  once  strong,  were  now  quite  capable  of  resisting  an  attack. — 
The  dismayed  Saxons  sent  an  urgent  request  to  General  Luder,  who 
commanded  a  small  Russian  army  in  the  neighboring  principality,  that 
he  would  hasten  to  their  protection.  Bishop  Schagum  and  Professor 
Grottfried  hastened  to  Bucharest,  that  they  might  represent  to  the  Rus- 
sian commander  the  imminent  peril  in  which  the  city  was  placed. — 
They  urge  I  that  they  were  cut  off  from  all  communication  with  the 
Austrian  government,  and  in  view  of  the  massacre  of  their  country- 
men and  the  pillage  of  their  towns,  they  appealed  to  the  generosity  of 
their  neighbors  to  protect  them.  They  solicited  a  purely  local  inter- 
vention, as  neither  government  as  yet  had  solicited  or  offered  a  more 
general  cooperation  of  their  forces.  Puchner  at  first  refused  to  join 
in  this  application,  but  finally  sanctioned  it  when  the  peril  seemed 
more  imminent.  Common  humanity,  or  the  secret  orders  of  his  gov- 
ernment, which  might  have  anticipated  this  conjuncture  of  events,  may 
have  induced  Luder  to  grant  the  succor  that  was  asked.  At  any  rate, 
on  the  1st  of  February,  General  Engelhardt,  at  the  head  of  10,000 
Russians,  entered  Transylvania,  and  occupied  both  Hermanstadt  and 
Cronstadt.  The  Austrian  ministry  were  so  far  from  being  pleased  at 
this  event,  that  they  despatched  a  courier  with  orders  to  prevent  the 
admission  of  the  Russians ;  and  when   he  came  too  late,  another  was 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  45 

sent  to  urge  them  to  withdraw.  Elated  by  the  first  rapid  success  of 
the  imperialists,  by  the  capture  of  Pesth  and  the  withdrawal  of  the 
Magyars  to  the  line  of  the  Theiss,  the  Austrians  thought  they  should 
be  able  to  end  the  war  without  foreign  aid.  But  the  desperate  valor 
of  the  Hungarians  soon  changed  the  current  of  events  ;  and  when  his 
armies  were  driven  back  on  all  sides,  and  even  Vienna  was  menaced, 
the  emperor  himself  was  compelled  to  solicit  that  aid  which  he  had  at 
first  rebuked  his  subjects  for  asking.  One  of  the  earliest  reverses  of 
fortune  was  caused  by  the  insufficiency  of  Engelhardt's  detachment  to 
protect  the  whole  Saxon  district  in  the  south  of  Transylvania. 

When  the  Russians  first  entered  Hermanstadt,  Bern  was  deceived 
by  an  exaggerated  report  of  their  strength,  and  he  retired  into  the 
mountains  of  the  Szeklers.  On  learning  his  mistake,  and  that  the  Rus- 
sian force  was  divided,  he  appeared  again  before  the  city  and  offered 
battle,  which  was  accepted  by  Puchner  and  Engelhardt.  The  impet- 
uosity of  Bern's  troops,  and  a  want  of  concert  between  the  Austrians 
and  Russians,  gave  the  honor  of  the  day  to  the  former,  though  the 
Russians  retreated  in  good  order  to  Hermanstadt.  But  as  they  had 
found  that  their  number  was  too  small  to  effect  any  thing  important, 
and  the  coldness  of  the  Austrian  ministry  in  respect  to  them  had  ex- 
cited a  natural  resentment,  they  determined  the  next  day  to  evacuate 
the  city  and  to  leave  Transylvania.  This  determination  threw  the  cit- 
izens into  despair,  and  the  weaker  part  of  the  population  resolved,  as 
the  only  mode  of  escaping  the  extremities  of  war,  to  remove  along 
with  the  Russians  into  Wallachia.  A  numerous  train  of  country  vehi- 
cles of  all  sorts  were  hastily  laden  with  their  most  precious  effects, 
and  a  crowd  of  old  men,  women,  and  children,  some  on  foot,  and  some 
riding  on  the  overladen  carts,  prepared  to  go  forth,  under  the  escort  of 
these  foreigners,  to  exile  and  beggary,  rather  than  to  await  their  bar. 
barous  conquerors.  It  was  still  the  depth  of  winter  ;  the  roads  were 
encumbered  with  ice  and  snow,  and  a  narrow  and  difficult  defile  along 
the  river  Aluta  was  to  be  passed  before  the  fugitives  could  arrive  at 
Kinien,  the  nearest  village  of  Wallachia.  The  pass  was  a  famous  one  ; 
by  this  route,  in  former  years,  war  and  pestilence  had  passed  from 
Turkey  into  Transylvania.  After  many  alarms  and  much  suffering, 
the  fugitives  arrived  at  Kinien  late  at  night,  and  were  received  by  the 
garrison  of  Russians  and  Turks  with  much  hospitality.  The  officers 
gave  up  their  tents  and  their  tbeds  to  the  women  and  children,  the  sick 
and  the  wounded  received  every  attention,  and  all  had  leisure  to  reflect 
on  the  homes  which  they  had  left,  and  the  beggary  that  awaited  them. 
The  fate  of  those  who  remained  in  Hermanstadt  was  pitiable  indeed. 
Bern  gave  up  the  city  to  the  utmost  license  of  his  troops  for  three 


whole  da37s ;  those  who  were  found  bearing  arms  were  shot,  and  oth- 
ers, who  had  joined  in  the  request  to  the  Russian  commander,  were 
brought  before  a  council  of  war.  The  terror  created  by  the  inhuman 
conduct  of  Bern's  army  had  the  desired  effect ;  he  experienced  no  more 
opposition  from  tne  inhabitants  of  Transylvania,  and  was  able  to  ex- 
tend his  incursions  into  the  Banat,  and  to  cooperate  with  the  troops 
who  were  acting  against  Jellnchich. 

The  loss  of  Transylvania,  and  the  recapture  of  Buda-Pesth  by  the 
Magyars,  with  other  reversals  of  fortune,  determined  the  Emperor  to 
seek  that  intervention  which  he  had  but  recently  rejected.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  Emperor  Nicholas  was  anxious  to  retrieve  the  credit  of  his 
army,  which  had  suffered  from  the  battle  with  Bern,  and  the  retreat 
from  Hermanstadt.  The  terms  of  cooperation  being  soon  adjusted, 
the  ablest  marshal  of  the  Russian  army  entered  Hungary  at  the  head 
of  an  imposing  force,  and  from  that  moment  the  issue  of  the  contest  was 
really  decided  ;  the  gallantry  of  the  Magyars  might  protract  the  strug- 
gle, but  could  give  no  hope  of  ultimate  success.  They  had  provoked 
too  many  enemies ;  of  the  half  a  dozen  races  which  make  up  the  mixed 
population  of  the  Austrian  empire,  every  one  was  hostile  to  them. — 
Their  pride  and  indomitable  obstinacy  prevented  them  from  making 
any  attempt  at  conciliation  ;  and  Gorgey,  their  last  and  ablest  com- 
mander, rather  than  unite  his  troops  with  those  of  Dembinski,  who  had 
made  some  concessions  and  promises  to  the  Sclavonians,  and  thereby 
partially  recruited  his  ranks  from  them,  preferred  to  surrender  his 
whole  army  without  conditions  to  the  Russians.  -The  Magyars  have 
fallen,  and  there  are  few  to  lament  their  fate  but  the  Red  Republicans 
of  France  and  Germany,  and  the  refugee  Poles,-  who  were  their  only 
foreign  allies.  They  have  fallen  in  an  unwise  attempt  to  preserve  their 
ancient  feudal  institutions,  their  supremacy  as  a  race,  and  their  nation- 
al independence  against  the  reforms  demanded  by  the  spirit  of  the  age, 
against  the  equality  of  political  rights  which  could  no  louger  be  re- 
fused to  their  ancient  subjects,  and  against  the  union  with  Austria 
which  is  a  necessity  of  their  geographical  position. 

They  had  always  regarded  the  Sclavonians  and  Wallachians  with 
contempt,  and  Kossuth  with  his  peculiar  magniloquence  was  wont  to 
say,  that  "  Croatia  was  only  a  breakfast  for  Hungary."  In  their  fury, 
they  brutally  murdered  Count  Lamberg,  the  imperial  commissioner 
who  had  gone  to  Pesth  to  try  the  last  chance  at  an  accommodation ; 
and  they  resolved  to  punish  the  emperor  by  making  common  cause 
with  the  radicals  at  Vienna,  so  as  to  wage  war  against  him  in  his  own 
capital.  It  was  even  a  violent  shift  of  policy  for  the  aristocratic  and 
domineering  Magyars  to  strike  hands  with  the  Red  Republicans,  Gip- 


sies,  Jews,  Socialists  and  Brigands,* — Janissaries  of  the  revolutionary 
cause  throughout  Europe.  But  in  truth,  there  was  no  other  class  or 
race  remaining  with  whom  an  alliance  was  open  to  them.  No  people 
on  the  continent  had  shown  themselves  so  strongly  affected  by  the 
pride  of  race,  or  had  put  forward  the  claims  of  its  own  nationality  in 
so  haughty  and  offensive  a  manner.  The  consequence  was,  that  they 
had  made  bitter  enemies  of  all  the  other  races  around  them,  of  those 
who  should  have  been  their  associates  and  firmest  friends. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  review  again  the  incidents  of  the  war,  nor 
even  to  look  closely  into  the  grounds  of  the  hostility  of  the   other 
Hungarian  races  to  the  Magyars.     It  is  enough  for  our  purpose  to 
show, — what  is  evident,  indeed,  on  the  very  face  of  the  affair, — that 
not  a  single  reason  can  be  alleged  to  justify  the  insurrection  of  the 
Magyars  against  Austria,  but  it  does,  in  a  far  greater  degree,  justify 
the   revolt  of  all  the  Sclavonian   and   Wallacliian    tribes  against  the 
Magyars.     In  Croatia  and  Sclayonia,  there  was  no  Magyar  population  ; 
and  what  light  had  these  half  Europeanized  Asiatics  to  hold  these 
provinces  any  longer  in  chains,  when  they  invoke  in  their  own  favor, 
against  Austria,  the  revolutionary  right  of  each  distinct  nationality  to 
self-government  ?     What  pretence  had  they  for  laying  waste  Transyl- 
vania with  fre  and  sword,  for  hunting  the  poor  Wallachian  peasants 
like  wolves,  and  driving  the  German  colonists  into  exile  in  Turkey, 
which  could  not  also  justify  whatever  excesses  the  Austrians  have 
committed  in  their  own  fair  land,  down  to  the  compelling  of  Kossuth, 
Bern,  and  their  associates  to  take  refuge  among  the  very  Moslems  who 
had  formerly  sheltered  their  victims  ?     It  may  be  said,  indeed,  that  the 
Transylvanian  Diet,  at  the  beginning  of  the  war,  voted  to  make  com- 
mon cause  with  the  Magyars.     It  did  so  ;  and  the  explanation  of  the 
fact  is  to  be  found  in  the  composition  of  that  Diet,  which  affords  a  fair 
sample  of  the  way  in   which  this  dominant  race  distributed  political 
influence  among  their  subjects.     The  Magyar  inhabitants  of  this  duchy 
number  about  a  quarter  of  a  million,  and  they  send  forty-six  members 
to  the  Diet ;  both  the  Szeklers  and  the  Saxons  are  as  numerous  as  the 
Magyars,  and  they  were  allowed  to  send  eighteen  members  each ;  the 
Wallachians  number  nearly  twice  as  many  as  the  three  other  races 
taken  together,  and  they  were  not  represented  at  all.]     It  is  not  very 
surprising  that  a  Diet  thus  constituted  should  take  up  the  Magyar 

*  The  famous  Magyar  brigand,  MeSandce  Rozsa,  presided  as  a  brigand  king  over  800 
brigands,  who  had  been  fighting  against  the  Croats  and  other  Sclavons.  In  the  spring 
of  1849,  coming  to  Pesth,  he  was  saluted  with  acclamations,  "  Eljen  Rozsa  Kival !" 

t  Paget's  Hungary  and  Transylvania,  II.  p.  247. 


48  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

As  the  course  of  events  in  Transylvania  did  much  to  determine  the 
character  and  issue  of  the  whole  conflict,  we  translate  a  portion  of  M. 
de  Bourgoing's  account  of  the  causes  which  led  the  Wallachians  to 
rebel  against  their  old  masters,  and  of  the  manner  in  which  the  war 
was  here  conducted.  ^^»*»^^ 

"  The  Wallachians,  who.  are  more  properly  called  Romnanijjweve 
the  last  to  false  up  arms ;  they  did  not  determine  upon"  this  step  till 
about  the  end  of  October ;  the  Hungarians,  they  say,  have  only  to 
thank  Kossuth  and  his  party  for  this  hostility  which  has  been  fatal  to 
them,  especially  in  Transylvania.*  Indeed,  the  Roumani  of  this  region 
for  a  long  time  refused  to  take  up  the  cause  of  the  Slavonians.  They 
would  have  preferred  to  be  on  good  terms  with  the  Hungarians ;  and 
for  this  end  they  asked  only  the  recognition  of  their  nationality,  and 
the  freedom  that  had  been  promised  without  distinction  in  the  Hun- 
garian constitution!  to  all  the  races  inhabiting  the  kingdom.  The 
moderate  party  among  the  Magyars  were  quite  willing  to  assent  to  the 
just  demands  of  a  people  who  were  the  natural  allies  of  their  race.  It 
was  thus  that  Count  Weszelenyi,  a  blind  old  man  who  sat  in  the  Diet 
at  Pesth,  remarked  in  the  session  of  the  29th  of  May  : — '  The  horizon 
of  my  country  is  darker  than  the  night  of  my  eyes ;  our  only  means 
of  safety  consist  in  holding  out  a  fraternal  hand  to  the  Roumani,  and 
proposing  an  intimate  alliance  with  them  ;  for,  like  them,  we  too  are 
isolated  in  the  vast  ocean  of  nations  ;  our  interests,  as  well  as  theirs, 
require  a  close  alliance  between  us ;  I  ask  you,  therefore,  to  pass  a 
law  that  the  nationality  of  the  Roumani  shall  be  respected.'  Kossuth 
rejected  the  motion,  declaring  that  he  knew  nothing  either  of  a  Rou- 
manic  or  a  Croatian  people,  and  that  he  recognized  only  Hungarian 
citizens.  All  the  nationalities  were  thus  trodden  under  foot ;  and  the 
most  odious  acts  soon  followed,  and  completed  the  exasperation  of 
these  races.  It  was  thus  that  the  union  of  Transylvania  with  Hun- 
gary was  decreed  without  asking  the  consent  of  the  Roumani,  who 
form  a  great  majority  of  the  population  of  the  former  province  ;  it  was 
thus  that  ultra-Magyar  commissioners  were  -sent  to  different  localities 
with  orders  to  exterminate  the  men  of  capacity  and  education,  (mean- 
ing thereby  the  schoolmasters  and  the  priests,  without  whose  direction 
the  rude  Wallachian  peasants  could  do  no  harm)  ;J  it  was  thus,  that 
in  the  neighborhood  of  the  cities  and  villages,  and  even  on  the  high- 

*  It  should  be  remembered  that  there  are  nearly  one  million  of  Wallachians  in  Hun- 
gary proper,  inhabiting  that  portion  of  it  which  is  contiguous  to  Transylvania. 

t  M.  de  Bourgoing  here  probably  refers  to  the  resolutions  passed  by  the  Magyar  Diet 
in  April,  1848,  in  which  there  were  bountiful  professions  of  liberality  towards  the  other 
races.  Whether  these  were  sincere  or  not,  it  is  certain  that  the  Slavonians,  Germans, 
and  Wallachians  refused  to  trust  them. 

t  "  C'est  ainsi  que  des  commissaries  ultra-magyars  furent  expedies  dans  les  differentes 
localites  avec  ordre  d'exterminer  les  intelligences  roumaines  (on  donne  ce  nom  dans  toute 
la  Transylvania  aux  capacit4s  influentes  du  pays,  c'est-a-dire  aux  maitres  d'^cole  et  aux 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  49 

ways,  gibbets  were  erected,  and  on  the  public  edifices  in  every  part  of 
Transylvania  these- words  were  inscribed,  in  the  Hungarian  and  Rou- 
mani  language  :  k  Union  or  Death."*) 

"  The  Roumani,  driven  to  extremities,  assembled,  in  the  month  of 
May,  1848,  at  Balasfalva,  to  the  number  of  sixty  thousand,  presided 
over  by  their  bishops  of  the  Greek  church.  Images  of  Trajan  and 
Aurelian,  and  standards  bearing  the  letters  S.  P.  Q.  R.,  reminded  this 
multitude  of  their  ancestors.  The  assembly  discussed  the  question 
with  great  order  and  decorum  ;  the  result  of  their  deliberations  was  a 
solemn  protest  against  any  union  of  Transylvania  with  Hungary 
without  the  consent  of  the  Roumanic  nation.  The  Hungarian  minis- 
try kept  on,  and  had  recourse  to  rigorous  measures.  Everywhere 
they  forbade  the  formation  of  the  Roumanic  national  guard,  every- 
where the  men  of  intelligence  were  imprisoned,  and  some,  who  had 
been  thus  named  in  derision,  were  hanged.  Then  a  second  meeting, 
after  the  fashion  of  the  former  Moldo  Wallachian  convocation,  was 
held  at  Balasfalva.  In  May,  they  had  only  protested  against  the  union 
with  Hungary ;  but  in  this  second  popular  assembly,  the  Roumanic 
nation  declared  itself  separated  from  this  country,  recognized  the 
Austrian  constitution,  took  up  arms,  and  made  common  cause  with 
the  Imperial  troops  against  the  Hungarians.  Whatever  may  be  the 
result,  the  Magyars  would  do  wrong  to  accuse  the  Roumani  of  rebel- 
ling against  them  ;  if  they  had  pursued  a  different  policy,  they  would 
probably  have  had  all  this  numerous  population  on  their  side. 

"  Never  was  there  a  more  furious  war  than  that  which  ensued  as  soon 
as  the  Roumani  took  up  arms.  The  whole  nation  rose — men,  women, 
and  children.  The  levy  en  masse  was  organized  under  the  national 
chieftains  by  all  the  promptness  of  this  formal  insurrection,  who  as- 
sumed the  old  Latin  titles  of  Prefects,  Centurions,  and  Decurions  — 
Many  of  these  officers  displayed  the  .greatest  intrepidity,  and  inspired 
the  men  under  their  command  with  the  liveliest  enthusiasm.  The 
whole  people,  led  by  the  desire  of  reconstituting  their  nationality,  as  the 
other  races  have  done,  are  reviving  the  historical  traditions,  epic  or  fab- 
ulous, of  the  nations  whose  languages  they  have  preserved.  Lieuten 
ant-Colonel  Urban,  who  is  simply  a  very  brave  Austrian  officer,  is  re- 
presented in  the  popular  ballads  and  the  engravings  which  are  distrib- 
uted among  the  Wallachian  peasants,  as  clothed  in  the  costume  of 
Trajan,  with  the  addition  of  a  bearskin  thrown  over  his  shoulders.— 
In  the  rude  prints,  also,  which  the  Roumani  hang  up '  on  the  interior 
walls  of  their  huts,  he  appears,  like  the  heroes  of  antiquity,  giving  a 
feast  of  a  hundred  sheep  to  his  soldiers.  The  name  of  the  Prefect 
Franco  is  not  less  popular  in  Transylvania.  He  is  a  simple  Wal- 
lachian peasant,  who  has  distinguished  himself  by  his  courage,  and 
now  commands  an  armed  multitude." 

*  In  Hungarian,  egysig  vagy  halal ;  in  Roumanic,  uniunea  sau  mbrtea.  These  last 
words  give  the  reader  an  idea  of  the  great  resemblance  of  the  Roumanic  language'  of 
Transylvania  and  the  Danubian  principalities,  to  the  Latin, 


50  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGAKY. 

We  shall  offer  one  other  extract  from  this  well-informed  French 
writer,  to  corroborate  a  statement  made  in  our  former  article,  which 
has  been  faintly  denied,  that  the  Slowacks,  a  tribe  numbering  over  two 
millions,  who  inhabit  the  north  of  Hungary,  had,  like  all  the  Slavonic 
Hungarian  tribes,  risen  in  rebellion  against  the  Magyars.  Some  of  the 
Slowack  nobility,  as  might  have  been  expected,  had  espoused  the  cause 
of  the  Magyar  aristocracy  with  whom  the}'  are  allied,  while  the  com- 
mon people  almost  unanimously  revolted  against  this  haughty  race.* 

"  Their  insurgents  were  directed  by  a  national  committee,  consisting 
of  the  three  most  popular  men  in  the  countiw,  among  whom  a  Slo- 
wack Lutheran   clergyman,  named  Hurban,  held  the  first  rank.f 

"  It  was  in  this  district  that  the  dominion  of  the  Magyars  had  been 
the  most  heavily  felt.  The  Slowack  people  were  reduced  to  a  state  of 
bondage,  from  which  they  freed  themselves  as  soon  as  this  occasion 
was  offered  to  them.  As  soon  as  the  Imperial  troops  protected  and 
enc  mraged  the  insurrection,  it  made  rapid  progress.  The  first  act  of 
independence  of  the  Slowack  population  was  to  overturn  and  burn  the 
gibbets  which  the  government  had  set  up  near  each  village  as  a  means 
of  intimidation.  The  insurrection  of  the  Slowacks  was  of  a  wholly 
different  character  from  that  which  took  place  on  the  banks  of  the 
Danube.  The  Servians,  a  fierce  and  warlike  nation,  mostly  armed  as 
soldiers  of  the  frontiers,  organized  from  the  beginning  their  means  of 
attack  and  defence.  The  Slowacks,  on  the  contrary,  enervated  by  a 
long  endurance  of  servitude,  presented  at  first  only  a  tumultuous  body 
of  insurgents,  easy  to  be  dispersed.  It  was  only  by  degrees  that  the 
rebels  of  this  tribe  were  hardened  to  the  war. 

"  In  this  branch  of  the  Slavonic  family,  generally  speaking,  as  well 
as  among  the  Czechs,  the  Slavonians  of  Turkey,  the  Servians,  and  the 
Bosnians,  the  aristocracy  quitted  the  national  cause  centuries  ago,  in 
order  to  adopt  the  ideas  and  sentiments  of  the  dominant  race.  In  Bo- 
hemia, with  the  exception  of  the  Kolowrath  family,  the  two  brothers 
Deym,  the  Czernins,  and  a  single  member  of  the  family  of  Thun,  the 
nobility  have  almost  altogether  Germanized  themselves.  In  Bosnia, 
the  families  of  the  ancient  chiefs  of  the  nation  have  become  Moham- 
medans, and  occupy  the  posts  of  governors,  of  pachas  of  the  fortified 
town,  and  of  commanders  of  the  numerous  strong  places,  where  the 
chiefs  of  this  aristocracy,  called  Spahis,  rule  the  country  and  oppress 
their  Christian  subjects.  In  the  country  of  the  Slowacks,  the  nobility, 
seduced  of  late  years  by  the  prestige  and  splendor  of  the  rich  Magyar 
aristocracy,  and  by  the  marked  favor  shown  to  it  by  the  imperial  fam- 

*In  the  Trenchin  country  several  nobles  of  this  kind  have  been  murdered  as  traitors 
by  the  Slowack  people. 

t  We  do  not  know  whether  this  Hurban,  or  Janecek,  who  is  subsequently  described  in 
this  extract,  is  the  person  to  whom  allusion  is  made  in  the  Magyar  Declaration  of  Inde- 
pendence : — "  A  Slowack  clergyman  with  the  commission  of  Colonel,  who  had  fratern- 
ized at  Vienna  with  the  revolted  Czechs,  broke  into  Hungary. 


THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  51 

ily,  who  studied  the  Magyar  language,  and  permitted  it  quite  recently 
to  become  exclusively  the  parliamentary  and  administrative  language 
of  the  apostolical  kingdom — the  Slovvack  nobility,  I  say,  seduced  by 
all  these  causes,  resigned  themselves  to  a  complete  iVTagyarization. — 
This  is  the  reason  wiry,  in  the  late  insurrection  in  favor  of  the  Slavonic 
nationality,  the  men  who  animated  and  directed  the  insurgent  popula- 
tion were  two  Slowack  Lutheran  clergymen  and  a  lawyer  from  the 
city  of  Presburg,  in  which  two  thirds  of  the  inhabitants  are  Slowacks. 
These  tribes  of  Slowack  mountaineers,  multitudes  of  whom  hastened 
down  the  southern  declivity  of  the  Carpathian  mountains  at  the  call  of 
these  eloquent  interpreters  of  the  new  Slavonic  feeling,  were  after- 
wards organized  by  two  Moravians  and  a  Bohemian,  all  of  whom  had 
served  in  the  Austrian  army.  One  of  these  Moravians,  named  Zach, 
resided  a  long  time  at  Paris,  where  he  was  favorably  known  by  many 
of  our  countrymen.  The  third  organizer  of  the  Slowack  militia,  named 
Janecek,  who,  at  the  beginning  of  the  movement,  in  September,  1848, 
had  enrolled  at  Vienna  six  hundred  volunteers,  marched  with  them  to- 
wards Neutra  in  the  Slowack  country  ;  he  displayed  so  much  intelli- 
gent activity  in  the  organization  of  the  levies,  and  so  much  courage  in 
the  combats  which  immediately  followed,  that  all  the  Sclavonians  of 
Hungary  surnamed  him  the  Second  Ziska,  thus  giving  to  this  intrepid 
defender  of  their  cause  the  name  of  one  of  the  most  illustrious  per- 
sonages in  Bohemian  history — of  that  Ziska,  the  Hussite  chief,  who, 
in  order  to  prolong  even  beyond  his  death  the  confidence  with  which 
he  inspired  his  soldiers,  and  the  terror  that  he  caused  to  the  enemy,  or- 
dered, as  the  Czech  and  German  chronicles  say,  that  they  should  make 
out  of  his  skin  a  covering  for  the  drum  of  the  first  and  bravest  battal- 
ion of  his  army." 

The  bitter  and  implacable  hostility  to  the  Magyars  of  all  the  other 
Hungarian  races  is  a  fact  which  admits  of  easy  explanation.  Besides 
the  extraordinary  development  which  has  been  given  to  the  instinct  or 
prejudice  of  race  all  over  Europe  by  the  events  of  the  last  two  years 
— or  rather  by  the  imflammatory  writings  and  speeches,  and  the  exag- 
gerated national  feeling  of  the  Italian,  German,  Sclavonian,  and  Mag- 
yar liberals,  which  have  caused  these  events — the  long  and  undisputed 
domination  of  the  Magyar  race  in  Hungary,  the  monstrous  accumula- 
tion of  social  and  political  advantages  in  their  hands,  their  complete 
isolation  from  the  others  in  blood  and  language,  and  their  national  pride 
and  spirit  of  exclusiveness,  which  have  been  nursed  and  pampered  to  an 
unnatural  and  absurd  extent  by  all  these  circumstances,  have  irritated 
the  other  tribes  almost  to  madness,  and  produced  the  shocking  barbar- 
ities in  Transylvania  and  the  south  of  Hungary  which  have  rendered 
this  war  a  disgrace  to  the  age.  The  article  in  this  number  on  Mag- 
yar Literature,  though  not  written  for  this  purpose,  illustrates  so  strik- 
ingly the  almost  incredible  development  of  this  pride  of  race,  both  in 


the  tone  of  Kisfaludy's  plays  and  in  the  enthusiastic  reception  that 
was  given  to  them,  that  it  is  hardly  necessary  to  say  any  thing  more 
upon  the  subject.  But  Mr.  Paget's  excellent  and  impartial  work 
furnishes  some  amusing  illustrations  of  this  trait,  two  of  which  we 
will  borrow  in  acknowledgement  of  the  justice  of  his  remark,  that 
"knowledge  of  national  character  may  be  obtained  from  common  in- 
ternational jokes  and  stories:" 

"  Once  upon  a  time,  the  manager  of  an  Hungarian  theatre,  produced 
what  he  considered  a  very  fine  piece  of  scenery,  in  which  was  repre- 
sented a  full  moon,  in  the  form  of  a  round,  fat,  clean-shaved  face, 
which  might  have  suited  a  Dutch  cherub.  Instead  of  the  anticipated 
applause,  the  luckless  manager  found  his  scene  received  with  damning 
hisses;  and  it  appeared  that  the  popular  indignation  was  more  particu- 
larly directed  against  the  '  pale-faced  moon/  '  the  German  moon,'  as 
they  called  it.  Now  as  the  Hungarians  like  their  moon,  as  well  as  every 
thing  else,  to  be  quite  national,  the  manager  determined  to  please  them, 
and  next  night  up  rose  the  poor  moon  with  as  glorious  a  pair  of  mus- 
taches as  the  fiercest  Magyar  amongst  them  could  exhibit.  Hurrahs 
burst  from  every  mouth  at  sight  of  this  reform,  and  all  cried,  '  Long 
live  our  own  true  Magyar  moon,  and  confusion  to  all  German  moons 
for  ever !"  The  moon  had  evidently  been  brought  up  at  court,  and 
had  learnt  the  value  of  popular  prejudices  to  those  who  know  how  to 
use  them  against  those  who  hold  them. 

"Another  tale  against  the  poor  Hungarians  had  its  origin  in  the  ha- 
tred they  bear  to  the  knee-breeches  of  the  Germans.  One  of  the  Hun- 
garian  regiments,  quartered  during  summer  in  the  burning  plains  of 
Lombardy,  was  ordered  by  the  colonel  to  parade  in  white  trousers, 
which  had  just  been  given  out,  instead  of  the  thick  blue  tights  they 
had  previously  worn.  The  officers,  however,  found  it  no  easy  matter 
to  induce  compliance,  and  one  excuse  or  another  was  always  found 
for  delay,  till  at  last  the  colonel  issued  a  second  order,  peremptorily 
fixing  a  day  for  the  change,  and  threatening  severe  punishment  for  dis- 
obedience. It  could  no  longer  be  put  off,  and  the  men  accordingly 
paraded  in  whites ;  but  determined  not  to  be  made  comfortable  in  any- 
body's way  but  their  own,  they  all  wore  their  thick  blues  underneath." 
Vol.  II.,  pp.  553,  554. 

That  these  jokes  may  not  be  rejected  as  gross  and  unmeaning  cari- 
catures, we  will  copy  some  of  Mr.  Paget's  more  serious  remarks. 

"  The  pride  of  the  Magyar,  which  is  one  of  his  strongest  traits, 
leads  him  to  look  down  on  every  other  nation  by  which  he  is  sur- 
rounded, with  sovereign  contempt.  -All  foreigners  are  either  Schwab 
(German,)  or  Talydn  (Italian) ;  and  it  is  difficult  to  imagine  the  super- 
cilious air  with  which  the  Magyar  peasant  pronounces  these  two 
words.  (  As  for  his  more  immediate  neighbors,  it  is  worse  still :  for  the 
most  miserable  Parazst-ember  (poor-man,  peasant)  of  Debreczen  would 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES   IN    HUNGARY.  53 

scorn  alliance  or  intercourse  with  the  richest  Wallack  in  the  country. 

I  remember  the  Baroness  W telling  me,  that,  as  she  was  going  to 

Debreczen  some  years  ago  with  vorspann,  she  was  accompanied  by 
her  footman,  who  happened  to  be  a  Wallack  ;  and,  in  speaking  to  her, 
he  was  overheard  by  the  Magyar  coachman  using  that  language. 
The  peasant  made  no  observation  at  the  time,  but,  as  they  approached 
the  town,  he  pulled  up,  and  desired  the  footman  to  get  down  ;  assur- 
ing the  lady  at  the  same  time  that  ho  meant  no  disrespect  to  her,  but 
that  it  was  quite  impossible  that  he,  a  Magyar,  should  endure  the  dis- 
grace of  driving  a  Wallack  -into  Debreczen.  Entreaties  and  threats 
were  alike  vain  ;  the  peasant  declared  he  would  take  out  his  horses  if 
the  footman  did  not  get  down, — which  accordingly  he  did.  The 
Germans  are  scarcely  better  treated :  it  was  only  the  other  clay,  when 

Count  M ,  an  Austrian  officer  of  high  rank,  was  calling  on  Madame 

R ,  that  her  little  son  happening  to  let  fall  some  plaything  lie  had 

in  his  hand,  the  Count  applied  his  glass  to  his  eye,  and  politely  offered 
to  find  it  for  him.  The  child,  however,  though  it  could  hardly,  speak, 
had  already  learned  to  hate ;  and  in  its  sparing  vocabulary  it  found  the 
words  '  Minder  Schwab  /'  which  it  launched  forth  with  all  the  bitter- 
ness it  could  muster,  in  answer  to  the  polite  offer  of  the  astonished 
Count."     Vol.  II.,  pp.  20,  21. 

"  The  Magyar  peasant  holds  the  Wallacks  in  the  most  sovereign 
contempt.  He  calls  them  '  a  people  who  let  their  shirts  hang  out/ 
from  the  manner  in  which  they  wear  that  article  of  clothing  over  the 
lower  part  of  their  dress ;  and  classes  them  with  Jews  and  Gipsies. 
Even  when  living  in  the  same  village,  the  Magyar  never  intermarries 
with  the  Wallack."     Vol.  II.,  p.  215. 

This  national  feeling,  when  duly  restrained  and  limited,  is  so  uatura 
and  honorable,  and  so  nearly  akin  to  true  patriotism  or  love  of  coun- 
try,  that  we  cannot  blame  it  harshly.  But  for  a  tribe  situated  as  the 
Magyars  are  in  Hungary,  isolated  among  other  races  more  numerous 
than  they,  and  over  whom  they  have  long  domineered  as  conquerors, 
its  indulgence  is  unreasonable  and  hazardous.  Their  excitable  tem- 
perament, and  their  fondness,  which  betrays  their  Asiatic,  origin,  for 
imaginative  and  hyperbolical  forms  of  speech— of  which  Kossuth's 
eloquence  affords  such  extraordinary  specimens — have  betrayed  them 
into  exaggerated  and  tumultuous  manifestations  of  this  really  selfish 
sentiment,  which,  coupled  with  their  fierce  denunciations  of  every 
power  that  claimed  to  be  above  them,  have  goaded  their  subjects  into 
furious  rebellion,  and  spread  far  and  wide,  among  distant  nations  who 
were  ignorant  of  the  true  circumstances  of  the  case,  this  general 
illusion  that  they  were  fighting  in  the  cause  of  freedom  rather  than  in 
that  of  oppression.  On  republican  principles,  they  were  right  in 
claiming  exclusive  sovereignty  in  that  region — the  fairer  half  of  Hun- 
gary proper — where  they  were  not  only  the  dominant,  but  far  the  most 

54  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY, 

numerous,  class  of  the  population.  But  their  thirst  for  national 
aggrandizement  led  them  to  the  endeavor  to  extend  their  rule  over  the 
districts  peopled  almost  exclusively  by  the  Slowacks  and  the  Servians, 
where  they  had  but  little  right ;  over  Croatia  and  Slavonia,  where 
they  had  no  right  at  all ;  over  Transylvania,  where  they  formed  less 
than  one  eighth  of  the  population  ;  and  even  over  the  Military  Fron- 
tiers, where  they  numbered  hardly  one  in  twenty-four,  where  they 
were  universally  detested,  and  which,  up  to  1848,  had  never  been 
subject  to  the  Magyar  Diet.  The  same  exaggerated  and  encroaching 
sentiment  induced  them,  after  they  had  vindicated  the  respect  due  to 
their  own  vernacular  by  substituting  it  for  the  Latin  and  German  in 
their  own  deliberative  assemblies,  to  attempt  to  force  it  upon  their 
subject  races,  in  whose  ears  it  was  a  hateful  Babylonish  jargon.  It 
is  a  poor  rule  which  will  not  work  both  ways  ;  either  they  were 
wholly  wrong  in  resisting  Joseph  II.  when  he  resolved  to  make  all  his 
subjects  talk  German,  or  they  were  tyrannical  and  unjust  in  seeking 
to  force  the  Croatians  and  other  Slavonians  to  speak  Magyar.  Their 
inconsistency  in  this  respect  is  the  more  glaring,  inasmuch  as  then- 
attempt  to  practise  this  oppression  took  place  many  years  after  their 
successful  resistance  to  it ;  and  they  ought  meanwhile  to  have  profited 
by  their  own  enlarged  ideas  of  freedom  and  the  advanced  spirit  of  the 

We  take  from  Mr.  Frey's  book,  which  we  have  already  cited,  the 
testimony  of  an  unwilling  witness  as  to  the  fact,  that  the  Magyars, 
after  they  had  obtained  all  that  they  asked  from  Austria  in  April,  1848, 
still  showed  a  disposition  rather  to  encroach  than  to  concede  in  their 
relations  with  the  Sclavonians,  who  were  then  surely  entitled  to  demand 
from  them  concessions  quite  as  ample  as  those  which  they  had  just 
obtained  for  themselves  from  the  emperor. 

"  Since  the  time  when  Hungary  had  extorted  its  independent  minis- 
try, [March,  1848,]  the  bonds  that  tied  the  Austrian  monarchy  together 
had  become  so  fragile  that  the  slightest  touch,  the  least  breath,  threat- 
ened to  dissolve  them.  Hungary  by  that  act  had  torn  herself  loose 
from  the  combination  formed  by  the  other  (Austrian)  states  ;  and 
thereby  had  made  enemies  not  only  of  the  many  champions  of  the 
integrity  of  the  Austrian  dynasty,  but  also  of  the  major  part  of  the 
non-Magyar  population  of  Hungary,  and  of  the  Sclavonic  people  of 
her  appurtenant  provinces.  No  wonder,  then,  that  the  Sclavonic 
population  shoulc  have  been  filled  with  anxiety  and  apprehension, 
while  Hungary  by  degrees  proceeded  to  transform  itself  into  a  specific 
Magyar  Stale, — since,  "by  this  change,  they  must  have  seen  their  own 
nationality  menaced.  It  is  true,  that  the  Hungarian  Ministry  at  first 
did  take  steps  which  made  these  apprehensions  seem   not  unfounded. 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  55 

The  notion  of  the  Ministry  was,  that  it  could  make  all  the  Hungarians 
one  united  people  by  Magyarizing  them.  To  this  end,  the  Latin  lan- 
guage, hitherto  employed  in  all  official  business,  was  abolished,  and 
the  Hungarian  introduced,  not  only  in  the  courts  of  justice,  but  in  the 
schools  and  Diet.  This  proceeding  excited  hate  and  bitterness  in 
nearly  all  the  Sclavonic  inhabitants  of  Hungary — who  seized  on  this 
as  a  pretext  to  conceal  their  plans  inimical  to  liberty  under  the  show 
of  alarm  for  their  nationality." 

The  recent  existence  of  feudal  rights  of  the  nobles  over  the  peas- 
ants, and  the  harsh  manner  in  which  they  were  exercised,  was  one  of 
the  causes  which  infused  into  the  minds  of  the  oth'  r  Hungarian  races 
a  spirit  of  implacable  hostility  to  the  Magyars.  Mr.  i'aget's  able  and 
impartial  work  abounds  with  evidence  upon  this  point.  We  subjoin  a 
few  extracts  from  his  testimony,  which  may  be  taken  without  distrust, 
as  he  resided  in  the  country  in  1835,  and  published  his  book  four  years 
afterwards,  long  before  the  revolutionary  disturbance  began  : 

"  I  knew  an  old  Countess  in  Transylvania  who  used  to  lament  that 
'  times  were  sadly  changed,  peasants  were  no  longer  so  respectful  as 
they  used  to  be  ;' — she  could  remember  walking  to  church  on  the  backs 
of  the  peasants,  who  knelt  down  in  the  mud  to  allow  her  to  pass  over 
them  without  soiling  her  shoes.  She  could  also  remember,  though  less 
partial  to  the  recollection,  a  rising  of  the  peasantry,  when  nothing  but 
the  kindness  with  which  her  mother  had  generally  treated  them,  saved 
her  from  the  cruel  death  which  many  of  her  neighbors  met  with."  Vol, 
II.,  p.  215. 

"  The  peasant-land  has  never  been  classed  here,  [in  Transylvania] 
as  in  Hungary,  according  to  its  powers  of  production,  nor- has  the  size 
of  the  peasant's  portion,  or  fief,  been  ever  accurately  determined.  The 
amount  of  labor,  therefore,  cannot  be  fairly  and  legally  proportioned 
to  the  quantity  and  value  of  the  land.  Nor  is  the  amount  of  labor  it- 
self better  regulated.  In  some  parts  of  the  country  it  is  common  to 
require  two  days  a  week  ;  in  others,  and  more  generally,  three  are  de- 
manded ;  and  some  the  landlord  takes  as  much  as  he  can  possibly  ex- 
tract out  of  the  half-starved  creatures  who  live  under  him.  Here,  too, 
the  flogging-block  is  in  full  vigor  ;  every  landlord  can  order  any  of  his 
tenants  or  servants,  who  may  displease  him,  twenty-five  lashes  on  the 
spot,  and  it  is  generally  the  first  resource  which  occurs  to  him  in  any 
disputes  about  labor  or  dues.  But  it  is  in  the  hands  of  the  underlings, 
the  stewards,  bailiffs,  inspectors — a  flock  of  hawks  which  infest  every 
Hungarian  estate — that  this  power  becomes  a  real  scourge  to  the  poor 
peasant."     Vol.  II.,  p.  314. 

"  Considerable  talent  is  required  to  flog  well,  the  object  being  to  in- 
flict the  smartest  pain  with  the  least  bodily  injury ;  and,  therefore,  no 
one  is  allowed  to  perform  who  has  not  perfected  himself  in  the  art  by 
practicing  on  a  stuffed  sack.     All  this  is  very  disgusting  and  very  sav- 

56  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

age,  brutalizing  to  the  lord  even  more  than  the  peasant;  for  the  reader 
will  scarcely  believe  that  some  of  these  hardy  fellows  laugh  at  such  a 
punishment,  and  it  is  a  point  of  honor  among  them  to  bear  it  without 
flinching.  Nothing  renders  the  young  peasant  so  irresistible  to  his 
mistress  as  his  heroic  support  of  the  five-and-twenty."  Vol.  I.,  pp. 
384,  385. 

"  The  frightful  scenes  which  took  place  under  the  leadership  of  Hora 
and  Kloska,  two  Wallacks,  who,  in  1784.  raised  the  peasants  of  Tran- 
sylvania in  revolt,  are  still  fresh  in  the  memory  of  the  Transylvanians, 
and  many  serve  as  a  warning  of  what  an  injured  people  are  capable, 
when  expectations  of  redress  are  held  out  to  them,  and  then  disappoint- 
ed."    Vol.  11.,  p.  312. 

"  The  Cassa  Domestica,  instead  of  being  voted  by  the  Diet,  is  voted 
by  the  county  meetings,  and  is  entirely  devoted  to  the  expenses  of  the 
individual  county.  The  amount  must  of  course  vary  in  each  county, 
according  to  the  circumstances  of  the  time,  and  the  necessities  of  dif- 
ferent localities  From  this  source  are  derived  the  salaries  of  the  mu- 
nicipal officers,  the  sums  necessary  for  the  maintenance  and  repair  of_ 
bridges  and  roads,  the  erection  of  public  buildings,  and,  till  the  present 
Diet,  even  the  payment  of  the  members  of  the  Diet.  The  administra- 
tion of  the  Cassa  Domestica  is  entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  nobles,  in- 
dependent of  the  general  government :  it  is  entirely  paid  by  the  peas- 
ants. Here  I  know  every  English  reader  will  be  ready  to  join  with 
me  in  execrating  the  selfishness — the  flagrant  and  injurious  selfishness 
— of  the  Hungarian  nobles,  which  this  fact  discloses.  That  they 
should  refuse  to  contribute  to  the  support  of  a  government  which  re- 
fuses them  the  right  of  regulating  the  expenditure  of  such  contribu- 
tions, every  constitutionalist  can  understand  ;  and  that  those  who  are 
themselves  bound  to  defend  their  country  should  decline  to  pay  others 
to  do  it,  is  also  comprehensible — of  course  supposing  that  they  were 
capable  of  performing  their  duty;  but  on  what  plan  they  refuse  to  take 
a  part  in  paying  the  officers  chosen  b}7  themselves  from  their  own  body, 
whose -duties  in  many  cases  regard  exclusively  the  nobility — by  what 
right  they  can  pretend  to  force  others  to  build  houses  for  them  to  meet 
in,  bridges  for  them  to  pass  over,  or  roads  for  them  to  travel  on,  is  be- 
yond the  power  of  any  honest  man  to  imagine.  Thank  Heaven !  the 
first  step  towards  a  great  change  has  been  already  made.  When 
Count  Szecheny  obtained  from  the  Diet  an  act  for  building  a  new 
bridge  at  Pesth,  and  a  power  to  make  every  one,  noble  or  ignoble,  pay 
as  he  passed  over  it,  he  gained  as  great  a  victory  over  prejudice  and 
injustice  as  has  been  accomplished  by  any  statesman  of  our  day. 

"Some  of  the  most  enlightened  Hungarians  would  L'ladly  see  this 
principle  carried  out  to  a  much  greater  extent;  and  it  is  not  improba- 
ble that  government  would  second  them  ;  but  among  many  of  the  no- 
bles, especially  the  lowest  and  highest,  there  is  so  great  an  ignorance 
and  so  strong  a  prejudice — on  the  one  hand  against  losing  what  they 
consider  their  rights,  and  on  the  other  against  raising  the  peasantry  to 
think  and  feel  like  men — that  much  must  be  done  before  this  act  of  jus- 
tice can  be  accomplished."     Vol.  II.',  pp.  75,  77.   - 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  57 

The  testimony  now  given  shows  what  even  these  denials  are  worth  ; 
and  if  it  answers  no  other  purpose,  it  may  prevent  the  repetition  of 
any  such  mountebank  show  as  that  of  the  late  "  Hungarian  reception," 
as  it  was  called,  at  New  York.  Ardent  republican  feeling  is  a  senti- 
ment which  with  great  difficulty  brooks  restraint ;  but  some  care 
ought  to  be  taken  that  the  future  manifestations  of  it  should,  at  least, 
be  consistent  with  the  reputation  of  our  countrymen  for  dignity  and 
common  sense. 

From  the  evidence  now  cited,  it  appears  very  clearly  that  the  war 
was  waged  on  the  part  of  the  Magyars,  without  even  a  protence  that 
they  were  fighting  for  the  establishment  of  a  Republic — a  form  of 
government  which  they  have  constantly  disclaimed. 

We  regret  that  it  was  thought  necessary,  in  order  to  create  greater 
sympathy  for  the  unfortunate  :  in  this  country. 

to  put  forth  this  unfounded  and  even  ridiculous  assertion  for  them, 
that  they  were  martyrs  in  the  cause  of  free  institutions  and  a  popular 
government.  Nothing  of  the  sort  was  needed  to  ensure  them  a  kind 
and  hospitable  reception  in  a  country  which  is  the  common  refuge  of 
political  exiles  of  any  class,  and  from  all  lands,  of  all  those  who  have 
bravely  but  vainly  striven  for  any  cause,  be  it  that  of  a  monarchy,  an 
aristocracy,  or  a  republic.  We  welcome  all  to  our  shores  with  our 
whole  hearts,  and  would  gladly  do  all  that  is  in  our  power  to  provide 
generously  for  their  necessities,  and  to  alleviate  the  bitterness  of  their 
exile.  If,  instead  of  attempting  to  offer  a  petty  insult  to  the  Austrian 
government  by  withdrawing  from  all  diplomatic  intercourse  with  it,  a 
measure  wholly  unprecedented  and  undignified,  which  would  have  ex- 
cited only  the  scorn  of  the  power  that  it  was  aimed  at,  and  the  ridi- 
cule of  other  nations,  and  would  have  wantonly  sacrificed  the  interests 
of  our  own  citizens,  and  all  chance  of  benefiting  Hungary  herself,  a 
resolution  had  been  offered  in  Congress  for  making  a  liberal  grant  of 
the  public  lands  to  these  unhappy  refugees,  we  believe  and  hope  that 
it  would  have  passed  almost  by  acclamation.  Now,  there  is  room  to 
fear,  that  the  sympathy  first  excited  in  their  favor  has  had  time  to 
cool,  and  that  something  of  a  reaction  has  commenced,  owing  to  the 
foolish  conduct  of  their  clamorous  and  vaporing  friends,  who  have 
endeavored  to  suppress  or  pervert  the  voice  of  history,  and,  by  the 
terrorism  of  the  newspaper  press,  the  only  despotic  power  which 
exists  in  this  country,  to  prevent  a  full  publication  of  the  truth. — 
These  persons  pay  a  sorry  compliment  to  the  American  people,  by 
supposing  that  we  cannot  welcome  to  our  homes  the  vanquished  and 
the  unfortunate  till  we  are  first,  satisfied  of  the  orthodoxy  of  their 
religious  and  political  opinions,  and  that  they  have  been  fighting  for  a 


58  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

thoroughly  democratic  cause.  Dethroned  kings  and  banished  nobles 
have  been  received  here  with  all  kindness  and  respect ;  Bonapartes 
and  Bourbons  have  profited,  and  may  profit  again,  by  our  equal- 
handed  hospitality.  Here  they  can  meet  in  peace  some  of  the  very 
men  whom,  in  the  days  of  their  prosperity  they  persecuted  and  ban- 
ished as  conspirators  for  freedom.  The  Magyar  nobles  may  be  sure 
of  as  kind  a  welcome  here  in  America,  as  our  lathers  gave  to  the 
emigrant  French  noblesse,  who  fled  from  the  Reign  of  Terror  at 
Paris  ;  and  they  ask  for  nothing  more.  They  do  not  ask  that  their 
claims  may  be  advocated  on  false  pretences.  But  the  Magyars  in 
this  country  are  persuading  the  public  that  they  were  republicans,  and 
more  than  republicans,  (pure  democrats.)  That  they  are  neither  re- 
publicans nor  democrats,  we  will  shov  from  the  Examiner  Newspaper 
which  has  been  the  chief  organ  of  the  Hungarian  cause  in  London. 
Some  of  the  most  active  Magyars  there  being  in  correspondence  with 
it,  teach  us  the  following  doctrines : 

"  The  most  current  misrepresentation  of  the  Hungarians  is,  that 
they  are  Republicans,  and  that  they  have  proclaimed  the  Republic  in 
such  of  the  Hungarian  counties  as  are  in  their  power,  which  now 
comprise  almost  all  the  Hungarian  territory.  This  assertion  is  often 
unwarily  reechoed  by  friends  of  the  Hungarians,  who,  considering 
that  the  Queen  of  England  maintains  amicable  relations  with  the 
Republic  of  the  United  States,  with  the  Republic  of  France,  and  the 
Republic  of  Switzerland,  are  not  altogether  horrified  at  the  '  epubli- 
can  appellation.  But  the  real  state  of  the  matter  is,  that  the  Hunga- 
rians are  not  Republicans,  and  that  the  Republic  has  not  been  pro- 
claimed anywhere  in  Hungary. 

"The  Magyars  fight  to  maintain  a  constitution  which  numbers 
more  than  eight  centuries  of  duration,  and  to  support  the  sanctity  of 
a  Royal  word.  They  have  taken  their  position  upon  the  inviolability 
of  ancient  liberty.  Although  Austrian  intrigues  have  caused  a 
breach  of  these  liberties,  and  striven  to  render  of  no  avail  the  royal 
oath  sworn  solemnly  to  maintain  them,  the  Hungarians  have  not  hith- 
erto dreamed  of  proclaiming  a  Republic.  In  spite  of  all  their  victo- 
ries, it  is  their  wish  to  retain  both  the  Monarchy  and  the  Dynasty. — 
They  do  not  desire  to  change  the  nature  of  their  institutions,  or  to 
rid  themselves  of  the  ruling  family." — Examiner,  May  5th,  1849. 

The  eccentric  Walter  Savage  Landor,  in  a  letter  to  Lord  Dudley 
Stuart,  dated  the  18th  of  October,  1849,  and  published  in  the  Exami- 
ner newspaper,  says,  speaking  of  Kossuth  : 

"  We  plead  for  the  Hungarian  defender  of  venerable  institutions, 
cognate  with  our  own,  and  bearing  a  strong  family  resemblance." 

In  a  memorial  addressed  to  Lord  John  Russel  and  Lord  Palmer- 


ston,  in  October,  1849,  which  has  been  written  by  Lord  Fitz- William, 
and  signed  by  him  and  several  other  peers  and  members  of  Parlia- 
ment, the  following  language  is  used,  the  object  of  the  memorial 
being  to  ask  the  mediation  of  England  in  favor  of  Hungary  : 

"  While  so  many  of  the  nations  of  Europe  have  engaged  in  revolu- 
tionary movements,  and  have  embarked  in  schemes  of  doubtful  policy, 
and  still  more  doubtful  success,  it  is  gratifying  to  the  undersigned  to 
be  able  to  assure  your  lordships  that  the  Hungarians  demand  nothing 
but  the  recognition  of  ancient  rights  and  the  stability  and  integrity 
of  their  ancient  constitution.  To  your  lordships  it  cannot  be  un- 
known that  that  constitution  bears  a  striking  family  resemblance  to 
that  of  our  own  country.  King,  Lords,  and  Commons  are  as  vital 
parts  of  the  Hungarian  as  of  the  British  constitution." 

These  extracts  are  sufficient  to  show  what  coloring  was  put  upon 
the  Hungarian  cause  in  England,  in  order  to  secure  the  sympathies 
of  a  people  strongly  attached  to  Monarchical  and  Aristocratic  institu- 
tions. Here,  in  America,  and  even  in  the  Senate  of  the  United  States, 
with  a  like  purpose  of  obtaining  sympathy,  the  Hungarians  have  been 
audaciously  held  up  as  true  and  devoted  Republicans.  And  as  if  to 
carry  out  the  principle  of  gaining  the  support  of  every  foreign 
nation  by  conforming  to  their  prejudices  or  illusions,  a  large  number  of 
Kossuth's  fellow  fugitives  in  Turkey,  including  that  formidable  free 
companion  of  the  revolutionary  cause  throughout  Europe,  general 
Bern  himself,  has  turned  Mohammedans. 

That  the  English  view  of  the  matter  is  the  only  correct  one,  is 
sufficiently  evident  from  the  fact  which  we  before  alluded  to,  that  Re- 
publicanism is  not  even  mentioned  in  the  Hungarian  Declaration  of 
Independence  ;  and  even  the  assertion  which  we  have  just  borrowed 
from  the  Examiner,  that  the  Magyars  wished  "to  retain  both  the  Mon- 
archy and  the  Dynasty,"  is  fully  supported  by  the  same  Declaration. 

We  have  said  nothing  to  justify  or  palliate  the  policy  of  Austria  in 
her  relations  with  Hungary.  Her  conduct  has  been  as  good  as  her 
demands,  her  concessions  as  willingly  made,  during  the  last  two 
years,  as  in  any  former  period  of  her  history.  Even  for  the  very  liber- 
al  character  of  the  constitution  granted  to  all  her  subjects  in  March, 
1849,  we  ascribe  to  her  no  more  commendation  and  praise  than  what 
the  historical  necessity  and  truth  require.  Nor  let  any  one  suspect  us 
of  favoring  the  policy  of  the  colossal  Empire  of  Russia.  Her  troops 
(as  it  is  generally  known)  were  called  into  Hungary  by  the  most  earn- 
est supplications  of  the  republican  German  burghers  and  poor  Walla- 
chian  peasants,  to  save  their  cities  and  villages,  their  wives  and  chil- 
dren from  the  ruthless  war  waged  against  them  by  the  Szeklers  and 

60  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

Polish  refugees.  The  divine  justice  excited  the  Russian  Monarch  to 
crush  and  to  put  down  the  common  foes  of  human  laws,  in  order  to 
save  the  whole  of  Europe  from  conflagration  and  anarchy. 

Thus  the  key  to  the  whole  question  as  to  the  merits  of  the  war  in 
Hungary  is  found  in  the  unquestionable  fact,  that  neither  Russia  nor 
Austria  was  an  original  party  in  the  strife,  which  was  not  caused  by 
them,  but  would  inevitably  have  occurred,  and  have  raged  with  equal 
bitterness,  though  probably  with  a  different  result,  if  these  powers  had 
never  interfered  in  it.  The  principals  in  the  war  were  the  Magyars 
against  the  other  races  which  inhabit  Hungary  with  them — against  the 
Sclavonians,  Wallachians,  Germans,  ect,  who  had  risen  in  rebellion, 
and  were  striving  to  shake  off  the  yoke  which  this  proud,  gallant,  and 
victorious  race  had  imposed  and  kept  upon  them  for  centuries. 

We  see  not  what  right  the  Magyars  have  to  appropriate  exclusively 
to  themselves  the  name  of  Hungarians,  though  they  are  less  than  five 
millions  in  number,  and  first  came  into  the  country  as  intruders  and 
conquerors  in  the  8th  century,  while  they  refuse  to  give  this  common 
appellation  to  the  Sclavonians  and  Wallachians,  though  their  popula- 
tion amounts  to  eight  millions  of  inhabitants  and  who  are  the  aborigi- 
nal and  rightful  possessors  of  the  soil. 

For  convenient  reference,  we  subjoin  the  following  enumeration  of 
the  races  that  constitute  the  population  of  Hungary,  taken  from  the 
latest  and  most  authoritative  publication  of  Austrian  statistics — that  of 
Haeufler.  The  statements  of  the  Bohemian  philologist,  Safarik,  and 
a  Hungarian  authority,  Fenyes,  though  not  of  so  recent  date,  do  not 
alter  the  proportions : 

Hungary,  including  Croatia  and  Sclavonia. 
-  Servians,  - 
Croatians,    - 
Sclovanians  (Styrians,) 
Bulgarians  and  others, 

Slavonians,  total, 


Wallachians,    - 


Greeks  and  others, 






-  50,000 











Magyars*             -  -,:'.-             -             -  260,170 

Szeklers,         -  ....      260,000 

Germans,  -                           -  250,000 

Wallachians,  ....  1,287,340 

Others,                 -  ...  60.400 


Military  Frontiers. 




Croatian  s, 

.     ■ 

692,960      - 



Sclavonians,  total, 

-    895,860 





-     100,000 


Totals  for  all  Hungary. 






-       4,908,760 






-       2,417,340 



Jews  and  others, 



Grand  total,     -  -  13,876,170 

These  aboriginal  and  rightful  possessors  of  the  soil  in  Hungary-  — 
the  Sclavonians,  Wallachians,  Servians,  Croatians,  Dalmatians,  Russ- 
niaks,  Bulgarians,  and  in  Transylvania,  Germans,  also  Greeks  and 
others  —  rose  in  arms,  and  turned  with  savage  fury  upon  their 
tyrants,  the  nomadic  and  despotic  Magyars,  who  had  so  long  oppressed 
and  insulted  them,  saying  :  "  Tot  nem  ember,  kasa  nem  etel,  telega 
nem  szeker."* 

The  Magyars  coming  to  America  tell  us,  that  they  fought  united 
with  their  fellow  neighbors :  the  Croatians,  Dalmatians,  Sclavonians, 
Wallachians,  etc.,  etc.,  against  the  tyrants  and  despots  of  Austria  and 
Russia,  in  order  to  destroy  their  power  forever,  and  to  establish  a 
republic  on  the  same  ground  as  it  is  here  in  the  United  States.  Now 
the  most  sincere  and  most  active  Magyars  in  England  evidently  con- 
tradict these  assertions,  saying  : 

*  The  Sclavonian  is  no  man,  the  millet  is  no  eating,  a  car  of  two  wheels  is  no  coach 
of  four  wheels,  consequently  the  Sclavonians  subjugated  by  the  Magyars  are  not  human 
beings,  but  poor  animals  and  cattle. 

62  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

"  The  most  current  misrepresentation  of  the  Hungarians  is,  that  they 
"  are  Republicans,  and  that  they  have  proclaimed  the  Republic  in  the 
"  Hungarian  counties,  which  now  comprise  almost  all  the  Hungarian 
"  territory.  This  assertion  is  often  unwarily  reechoed  by  friends  of 
"  the  Hungarians,  who,  considering  that  the  Queen  of  England  main- 
"  tains  amicable  relations  with  the  Republic  of  the  United  States,  with 
"  the  Republic  of  France  and  the  Republic  of  Switzerland,  are  not 
"  altogether  horrified  at  the  Republican  appellation.  But  the  real  state 
"  of  the  matter  is,  that  the  Hungarians  are  not  Republicans,  and  that 
"  the  Republic  has  not  been  proclaimed  anywhere  in  Hungary.  The 
"  Magyars  fight  to  maintain  a  constitution,  which  numbers  more  than 
"  eight  centuries  of  duration,  and  to  support  the  sanctity  of  a  royal 
"  word.  They  have  taken  their  position  upon  the  inviolability  of  ancient 
"  liberty*  Although  Austrian  intrigues  have  caused  a  breach  of  these 
"  liberties,  the  Hungarians  have  not  hitherto  dreamed  of  proclaiming  a 
"  Republic.  In  spite  of  all  their  victories,  it  is  their  wish  to  retain 
"  both  the  Monarchy  and  the  Dynasty."  Examiner  of  the  5th  May, 

We  credulous  and  good  hearted  Americans,  have  regarded  all  the 
Magyars,  as  true  Republicans,  and  as  our  Brothers — but  now  we  must 
sincerely  confess,  that  we  have  wasted  our  honest  enthusiasm,  mistaken 
our  men,  and  lavished  upon  demagogues,  savage  fanatics,  or  disguised 
supporters  of  despotism,  the  admiration  which  was  intended  for  the 
brave,  enlightened,  and  disinterested  champions  of  human  freedom  and 
defenders  of  their  country's  rights. 

Our  errors  and  disappointments  ought  at  least  to  teach  us  caution ; 
having  been  so  often  deceived,  it  becomes  us  to  scrutinize  pretty 
sharply  the  credentials  of  all  who  may  hereafter  claim  to  be  consid- 
ered as  martyrs  of  liberty  or  regenerators  of  free  institutions  in 
Europe.  It  is  worth  while,  also,  to  review  those  cases  in  reference  to 
which  we  have  been  led  into  error,  and  see  what  principles  and  mo- 
tives were  really  active  in  them,  and  how  it  was  that  they  simulated 
the  character  of  contests  for  freedom. 

The  pamphlet  of  M.  Bourgoing  is  very  instructive  for  this  purpose, 
as  it  is  written  by  a  former  diplomatic  representative  of  France  both 
in  Russia  and  Germany,  who  has  had  ample  opportunity  to  study  the 
internal  and  foreign  politics  of  those  countries  ;  while  his  present  po- 
sition, as  minister  of  the  French  republic  to  the  Court  of  Madrid,  is 
a  sufficient  guaranty  that  his  sentiments,  on  the  whole,  are  not  anti- 
republican.  It  is  temperately  written,  apparently  without  prejudice 
or  secret  bias,  with  the  avowed  purpose  of  lessening  the  fears  enter- 

*  The  ancient  liberty  is  to  whip  and  to  excoriate  the  Sclavonians,  Wallachians, 
Croats,  and  the  other  subjugated  races  in  Hungary. 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  63 

tained  by  his  countrymen,  at  an  anxious  and  gloomy  period  of  their 
affairs,  of  a  general  war  in  Europe.  It  was  published  in  the  spring  or 
summer  of  1849;  and  events  have  thus  far  justified  the  writer's  pre- 
diction, that,  notwithstanding  what  was  then  the  agitated  state  of  the 
Continent,  the  apparent  wreck  of  so  many  governments,  and  the 
number  of  local  contests  which  were  raging  fiercely  in  the  centre  and 
south  of  Europe,  there  would  be  uo  general  conflagration  like  that 
which  was  kindled  by  the  first  Revolution  in  France.  "  Therefore," 
he  says,  in  conclusion,  "  let  confidence  be  restored  on  all  sides ;  let 
commerce  resume  its  former  habits,  and  hasten  to  take  up  again  its 
relations  with  foreign  countries  ;  for  a  maratime  war  is  as  improbable, 
as  impossible,  as  a  continental  one.  Let  a  sense  of  security  animate 
our  manufactures,  and  the  works  which  have  been  interrupted  may  be 
undertaken  anew.  France  has  both  the  will  and  the  power,  in  the 
face  of  agitated  and  revolutionized  Europe,  to  preserve  peace,  which 
will  be  more  honorable  and  profitable  to  her  than  a  long  war  :  for 
without  striking  a  blow,  she  will  see  the  whole  work  of  the  Allies  in 
1815  disappear.  Freed  from  all  apprehensions  as  to  our  foreign  rela- 
tions, let  us  think  only  of  the  struggle  against  perverse  doctrines 
which  is  going  on  at  home,  and  seek  to  bring  back  to  us  fill  our  coun- 
trymen, who  have  only  been  misled  and  deceived,  and  whose  ears  are 
still  open  to  the  language  of  reason  added  to  that  of  fraternal  concili- 

These  words  being  a  sufficient  indication  of  the  honesty  of  the 
writer's  purpose,  his  statements  can  be  received  without  distrust. — 
The  pamphlet  itself  affords  proof  enough  of  the  extent  and  thorough- 
ness of  his  information  ;  with  the  affairs  of  Germany,  including  Hun- 
gary, he  seems  particularly  conversant,  his  knowledge  being  evidently 
derived  from  a  long  residence  in  the  countries  of  which  he  speaks, 
and  from  familiarity  with  the  languages  of  the  several  tribes  that 
inhabit  them.  "I  have  the  advantage,"  he  says,  "of  having  lived 
many  years  among  those  Germans  and  Sclavonians  who  are  now  so 
lamentably  hostile  to  each  other,  and  of  having  quitted  them  hardly 
five  months  ago ;  of  having  travelled  through  the  various  countries 
which  the  war  has  recently  desolated ;  of  having  become  personally 
acquainted,  in  the  course  of  a  rather  long  military  and  diplomatic 
career  in  this  part  of  Europe,  with  all  the  men  who  govern,  with 
many  of  those  who  command  or  negotiate,  and  even  with  some  of 
those  who  speak  and  write,  and  thus  calm  or  agitate,  the  credulous 
people  in  all  these  distant  lands ;  and  of  thus  being  able,  from  all 
these  causes  united,  to  speak  from  certain  knowledge." 

With  these  grounds  of  assurance  that  he  is  a  safe  guide,  we  shall 

64  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY, 

make  free  use  of  the  information  he  gives  as  to  the  present  state  of 
Europe,  the  character  of  the  political  changes  which  have  recently 
taken  place  in  it,  and  the  motives  of  the  combatants  in  the  several 
contests  which  have  lately  disturbed  its  tranquillity. 

The  leading  idea  or  fact,  which  is  developed  and  supported  in  this 
publication,  is,  that  the  wars  which  broke  out  in  Europe  during  the 
year  1848  were  not  founded  on  political  or  religious  principle,  but  were 
all  wars  of  races,  in  which  different  nationalities,  speaking  different 
languages,  came  in  contact  with  each  other  by  seeking  to  vindicate  or 
preserve  a  superior  relative  position  ;  hence  it  is  concluded,  that  they 
are  necessarily  local  in  character  and  limited  in  their  results  to  parties 
which  are  actually  engaged  in  them,  affording  no  cause  of  offence  to 
any  third  nation,  and  incapable  of  endangering  the  general  peace  of 
Europe.  Every  other  nation,  it  is  argued, — France,  for  instance, — 
may  remain  a  peaceable  spectator  of  such  wars,  neither  her  pros- 
perity, her  dignity,  nor  her  political  influence  being  in  any  manner 
compromised  by  them. 

"  During  the  year  which  has  just  elapsed,  (1848,)  there  have  broken 
out  in  Europe  no  less  than  nine  very  distinct  wars  or  local  collisions 
between  twenty-three  states  or  nations,  speaking  seventeen  different 
languages.  One  strange  fact  explains  and  influences  all  these  events  : 
The  several  families  of  dialects,  or  stem-languages,  become  hostile  to 
each  other,  and  tend  to  constitute  independent  nationalities.  So  novel 
a  movement  certainly  deserves  to  be  studied,  and  the  moment  when 
we  begin  to  understand  its  causes,  is  favorable  for  attempting  an  enu- 
meration of  them. 

"In  the  numerous  wars  and  contests  of  1848,  the  Germans  appear 
in  the  first  rank.  Thus,  we  have  had,  1.  The  war  of  the  Germans 
against  the  Danes,  for  whom  the  Swedes,  the  Norwegians,  and  even 
the  Russians,  have  been  on  the  point  of  entering  into  the  lists ;  then 
of  the  Germans  against  the  Poles  ;  2.  of  Posen  ;  3.  of  Cracovia,  and  4. 
of  Galicia,  the  capital  of  which  has  been  bombarded — three  successive- 
wars  between  the  Poles  and  the  Germans; — 5.  of  these  same  Ger- 
mans against  the  Bohemians,  two  nations  which  have  been  allied  to- 
gether for  eight  centuries,  but  which,  in  the  month  of  June,  entered 
into  furious  conflicts  with  each  other  at  Prague ; — 6.  of  the  Neapoli- 
tans against  the  Sicilians ; — 7.  of  the  Austrians  against  the  Piedmon- 
tese,  with  whom  the  people  of  Lombardy,  Tuscany,  and  Rome  have 
taken  sides : — 8.  of  the  Hungarians  against  the  Croatians  and  the 
Servians,  who  were  helped,  in  1848,  by  the  regular  armies  of  Austria, 
as  well  as  by  the  insurrections  and  the  volunteer  and  partisan  corps  of 
the  Slowacks,  the  Russniaks  of  Gallicia,  and  the  Wallachians  and  the 
Saxons  of  Transylvania,  the  last  of  whom,  in  1849,  drew  the  Rus- 
sians into  a  contest  which  caused  blood  to  be  shed  by  all  the  Sclavon- 
ic  tribes  without  exception ; — and  lastly,  9.  the  national  movement  of 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  65 

the  Moldavians  and  Wallachians,  which  produced,  at  Bucharest,  a  san- 
guinary conflict  with  the  Turks. 

"  In  addition  to  nine  wars,  more  or  less  prolonged,  this  rivalry  of  a 
wholly  novel  character,  the  rivalry  of  languages  and  nationalities,  with 
its  more  or  less  direct  consequences,  has  been  on  the  very  point  of  ex- 
citing three  other  armed  collisions  between  five  different  nations,  to  wit : 
Between  the  Irish  and  the  English ;  between  the  Germans  and  the 
Dutch,  on  account  of  Luxemburg  ;  and  even  between  the  Germans  and 
Swiss,  to  whom  a  menacing  manifesto  has  been  addressed.  I  might 
add,  that  the  Greeks  of  Cephalonia  and  the  other  Ionian  islands  have 
also  made  a  demonstration  in  favor  of  their  nationality  ;  and  that  the 
Montenegrins,  coming  from  the  borders  of  the  Adriatic  to  fight  in  the 
provinces  of  the  Danube,  have  shown  that  the  Sclavonic  mind  is  in 
agitation  even  in  the  southern  region  of  Dalmatia. 

"  This  principle  of  the  division  of  nationalities  by  their  languages 
thus  appears  to  be  in  truth  the  ruling  political  idea  of  our  times ;  I 
will  even  say,  that  the  excessive  and  fanatical  extension  of  a  rule  so 
difficult  to  be  applied,  is  one  of  the  political  manias  of  the  day ;  for 
whoever  takes  the  feeling  of  humanity  for  a  guide,  has  a  right  to  stig- 
matize as  insanity  every  unreasonable  exaggeration  which  causes  a 
great  effusion  of  blood.  It  is  evident,  however,  that  other  powerful 
causes  have  been  united  with  these  questions  of  race  and  language. — 
In  Ireland,  for  instance,  the  difference  of  religion,  and  the  comparison 
which  is  daily  made  of  the  wealth  of  the  conquering  race  with  the 
misery  of  the  conquered  people,  keep  up  this  animosity  of  the  two  na- 
tions, to  which  the  difference  of  language  contributes  comparatively 
little.  In  other  countries,  the  radical  party  in  politics  have  taken  up 
this  means  of  speedy  and  far-reaching  agitation  as  an  instrument  for 
the  furtherance  of  their  own  designs.  Community  of  language  sub- 
jects a  whole  nationality  to  the  exciting  influence  of  a  journal,  a  pop- 
ular harangue,  or  a  patriotic  hymn  ;  as  soon  as  it  is  admitted  that  a 
common  language  forms  an  indissoluble  bond  among  those  who  use  it, 
or  that  it  ought  to  serve  as  such  a  bond,  it  becomes  the  principal  vehi- 
cle of  the  schemes  of  disorder  and  rebellion  which  may  be  inculcated 
from  a  distance. 

"If  the  history  of  the  world  in  all  ages  is  a  uniform  record  of  dis- 
sension and  conflict,  we  may  remark  that  the  determining  causes  of 
war  have  become  more  and  more  complicated  in  proportion  to  the  pro- 
gress of  the  human  mind.  In  the  ages  of  barbarism,  the  tribes  of  the 
north  rushed  upon  the  nations  of  the  south  simply  in  order  to  dispute 
with  them  a  place  nearer  to  the  sun.  Soon  afterwards  came  the  wars 
of  territorial  convenience,  which  must  be  studied  from  a  different  point 
of  view.  As  soon  as  the  governments  became  civilized  enough  to  have 
a  political  system,  they  began  to  fight  for  an  alliance,  for  a  river,  for  a 
chain  of  mountains,  which  would  furnish  a  good  strategical  frontier. — 
Later  still,  after  the  invention  of  writing,  it  was  the  interpretation  of 
treaties,  acts  of  royal  succession,  testamentary  injunctions,  pragmatic 
sanctions,  and  the  like,  which  set  armies  in  motion.     Religious  wars 


66  THE    WAR    OF    RACES   IN    HUNGARY. 

have  belonged  to  all  ages  and  all  countries.  Finally,  at  the  close  of 
the  last  century,  all  Europe  rose  in  arms  and  formed  coalitions  either 
for  or  against  political  freedom.  The  war  brought  on  by  the  first 
French  revolution  gave  rise  to  many  others,  and  eight  different  coali- 
tions were  successively  formed  to  oppose  a  dyke  to  our  principles  of 
innovation  coming  from  the  west.  Now,  this  dyke  is  forever  broken, 
and  the  torrent  has  stopped  only  at  the  Niemen. 

"  The  year  1848  first  saw  a  wholly  strange  and  unexpected  cause  of 
disaster,  conflagration,  and  bloodshed  suddenly  start  up  among  the 
nations  of  Europe ;  it  beheld  the  rise  of  a  subject  of  contention  which 
was  more  subtle  than  the  religious  dogmas  that  produced  the  thirty 
years'  war,  more  abstract  than  the  political  notions  which  kept  up  for 
twenty-three  years  the  conflict  between  the  armies  of  liberty  and  those 
of  the  counter-revolution.  In  truth,  it  is  only  about  ten  years  since 
the  nations  who  are  now  waging  war  upon  each  other  in  Denmark  or 
in  Lombardy,  on  the  banks  of  the  Danube  or  at  the  foot  of  Etna,  first 
thought  of  regarding  a  difference  of  language,  or  even,  as  we  see  in 
Sicily,  a  faint  difference  between  two  dialects,  as  a  legitimate  cause  of 
implacable  hostility.  It  is  also  .proper  to  say,  that  Germany,  after 
having  effectually  contributed,  by  its  philological  labors,  to  awaken 
the  instinct  of  race  and  arm  the  different  nationalities  against  each 
other,  has  not  been  able  in  every  case  to  reconcile  the  projects  of  its 
ambition  with  the  consequences  of  its  theories.  The  same  principle 
which  it  defends  in  Sleswick,  it  combats  in  Poland  and  in  Italy. 
Hence  arise  lamentable  dissensions  and  inconsistencies;  hence,  also, 
the  reign  of  violence  coming  after  a  movement  which  would  have 
merited  our  sympathies,  if  it  had  not  too  often  strayed  from  the  paths 
of  moderation  and  equity." 

The  bond  of  a  common  language  is  weakened  in  many  cases  by 
great  differences  of  dialects ;  and  the  tie  of  a  common  though  very 
remote  origin  would  not  be  strongly  felt, — its  influence,  in  fact,  would 
be  hardly  perceptible, — if  it  did  not  flatter  the  national  pride,  and  often 
come  in  aid  of  that  desire  of  national  aggrandizement  which  is  a  com- 
mon sentiment  among  all  nations,  and  exists  as  strongly  in  the  body 
of  the  people  as  in  the  hearts  of  their  rulers.*  It  is  a  feeling  which 
simulates  true  patriotism,  though  only  remotely  allied  to  it ;  it  assumes 
a  brave  garb,  uses  high-sounding  words,  and  publishes  valiant  and 
virtuous  manifestoes,  though  its  root  is  in  ambition  and  selfishness.  A 
native  of  one  of  the  smaller  States  of  Italy  or  Germany,  aware  of  the 
political  insignificance  of  his  government,  and  conscious,  perhaps,  of 
the  social  degradation  of  his  countrymen,  may  be  pardoned  for  dream- 
ing of  a  union  with  all  who  are  of  the  same  lineage  and  speak  the 
same  tongue,  as  the  only  practicable  means  of  elevating  his  nation  in 
the  eyes  of  Europe,  and  acquiring  tfor  them  substantial  dignity  and 
influence.     His  sense  of  present  humiliation  will  more  readily  seek 

THE    WAR    OP    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  67 

relief  in  the  idea  of  a  grand  alliance  with  others,  than  in  the  difficult 
enterprise  of  reforming  the  political  institutions  of  his  own  State,  and 
improving  the  social  condition  of  its  inhabitants.  It  was  because  this 
latter  enterprise  seemed  hopeless,  or  at  best,  remote  and  difficult  of 
accomplishment,  that  the  cry  for  a  United  Italy,  and  a  United  Ger- 
many, has  become  so  popular.  The  enthusiasm  of  the  Germans  in 
this  cause  was  fostered  by,  and  perhaps  derived  its  origin  from,  their 
united  and  successful  efforts  in  the  glorious  War  of  Liberation,  as  it 
was  termed,  when  they  broke  the  chains  of  Naiialfion.  Arndt's  famous 
song,  > 

Where  is  the  German  fatherland? 

and  other  patriotic  odes,  contributed  not  a  little  to  fan  the  flame. 

In  Italy,  the  desire  for  political  union,  far  more  than  for  the  down- 
fall of  monarchy,  has  always  been  the  leading  idea  of  its  patriots. 
The  regeneration  of  the  country  in  their  eyes  depended  on  breaking 
down  the  barriers  between  its  several  States,  and  acquiring  for  it  a 
political  status  as  one  of  the  great  powers  of  the  continent.  It  was  a 
natural  wish  on  their  part,  but  not  one  which  presents  any  peculiar 
claim  for  sympathy  from  other  nations.  Either  as  Americans  or  re- 
publicans, we  do  not  feel  called  upon  to  admire  or  respect  a  movement 
which  looks  first  to  national  aggrandizement,  without  any  direct 
reference  to  the  improvement  of  the  social  or  political  condition  of  the 
people.  Tuscany  has  been  a  highly  favored  state,  enjoying  a  mild 
and  beneficent  government;  it  is  by  no  means  sure  that  the  welfare 
of  its  people  would  be  increased  by  its  junction  with  Lombardy,  Pied- 
mont, and  the  other  States  of  the  peninsula,  under  the  rule  of  such  a 
sovereign  as  Charles  Albert.  This,  it  must  be  confessed,  is  taking  a 
very  practical  view  of  the  matter;  but  we  have  no  patience  with  that 
sort  of  sentimental  enthusiasm,  of  patriotism  run  mad,  wifcch,  without 
any  reference  to  immediate  utility,  can  be  gratified  only  at  the  expense 
of  a  revolution  and  a  bloody  civil  war.  Italy  never  has  been  united 
since  the  days  of  the  Jioman  empire  ;  and  the  most  glorious  period  of 
its  subsequent  history  is  that  when  it  was  divided  into  a  multitude  of 
flourishing  commercial  republics.  That  Genoa,  Pisa,  Florence,  and 
Venice  were  almost  constantly  at  war  with  each  other  in  the  days  of 
their  prosperity  and  renown,  was  a  misfortune  of  the  times — an  effect 
of  the  imperfect  civilization  of  the  Middle  Ages — not  a  necessary 
result  of  their  separate  existence  as  independent  states.  If  thus 
divided  and  constituted  at  the  present  day,  there  would  be  no  difficulty 
in  maintaining  peaceful  relations  between  them.  Florence,  under  the 
Medici,  achieved  the  mingled  glories  of  literature,  wealth,  arts,  and 
arms,  not  only  without  political  union  with  other  portions  of  the 

68  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

peninsula,  but  in  spite  of  frequent  wars  with  them;  if  her  present 
state  is  less  glorious  and  prosperous,  it  is  not  from  the  want  of  such 
union,  but  from  the  character  of  its  inhabitants  and  the  altered  cir- 
cumstances of  the  times. 

Germany  could  not  hope  to  effect  any  other  object  through  the 
union  of  her  several  states,  which  may  not  be  acquired  under  the 
present  arrangement,  except  that  of  having  a  more  potential  voice  in 
the  settlement  of  the  affairs  of  Europe.  The  Customs-Union  is  a 
league  just  as  effective  for  all  commercial  purposes  as  a  complete 
political  fusion  under  one  government  would  be  ;  and  the  present 
condition  of  the  country  has  the  advantage  of  preserving  for  each  in- 
dependent state  those  habits  and  peculiarities  of  legislation  and  ad- 
ministration which  from  long  use  are  best  adapted  to  it,  and  most 
popular.  The  great  evil  of  the  existing  system  in  Austria  and  Prussia, 
even  the  smaller  states  not  being  exempt  from  it,  is  excessive  centrali- 
zation, the  paternal  care  of  the  government  being  evinced  by  treating 
the  whole  body  of  the  people  as  little  children,  who  are  incapable  of 
thinking  or  acting  for  themselves.  There  are  very  few  local  authori- 
ties appointed  by  their  immediate  constituents,  and  responsible  to  them 
alone;  all  appointments  originate  at  the  capital,  and  the  affairs  of 
every  little  village  are  directed  by  power  emanating  immediately  from 
the  head  of  the  state.  The  government  is  not  so  much  tyrannical  as 
bureaucratical.  The  systematic  and  pedantic  turn  of  the  German 
mind  enhances  the  evil  ;  their  civil  polity  is  nothing  but  psedagogy. — 
A  fusion  of  all  their  governments  into  one  would  produce  a  monstrous 
system,  whether  of  a  monarchical  or  a  republican  class  ;  individual 
action  would  be  stifled  under  it,  and  no  executive  power  could  be  so 
skilfully  constituted  as  to  be  able  to  meet  all  the  demands  upon  its 
care  and  attention.  Germany  is  less  prepared  than  any  country  in 
the  world  to  try  such  an  experiment  as  was  made  by  France  in  1789; 
to  abrogate  all  its  existing  institutions,  and  begin  the  work  of  consti- 
tuting society  and  government  entirely  anew.  The  lack  of  practical 
talent,  and  of  ingenuity  in  meeting  or  providing  for  new  emergencies, 
is  an  imperative  reason  for  travelling,  as  far  as  possible,  in  the  old 
beaten  paths. 

In  former  days,  the  great  object  was  to  make  the  political  divisions 
of  the  continent  correspond,  as  far  as  possible,  with  its  natural  divis- 
ions by  great  rivers  ahd  chains  of  mountains.  Every  country  claimed 
what  it  called  its  naturql  boundaries,  but  always  with  a  secret  refer- 
ence to  the  enlargement  of  its  own  territory.  Thus  France  demanded 
the  Rhine  as  its  natural  frontier  ;  while  Russia  put  forward  her  pre- 
tensions against  Sweden  to  the  whole  eastern  coast  of  the  Baltic. — 


The  war  of  the  Spanish  Succession  took  place  to  prevent  Louis  XIV. 
from  fulfilling  his  boast,  that  there  were  no  longer  any  Pyrenees. — 
While  one  country  alleged  its  natural  right  to  those  limits  which 
seemed  to  have  been  established  for  it  by  the  conformation  of  the 
earth,  others  opposed  its  claim  on  the  ground  that  to  allow  it  would 
be  to  destroy  the  balance  of  power  in  Europe.  The  principle  itself, 
it  was  argued,  was  an  inconvenient  one,  and  if  pressed  to  its  full 
extent,  wholly  impracticable.  Applied  in  every  case,  it  would  be 
necessary  to  parcel  out  the  continent  anew,  and  to  establish  new  states 
inconvenient  in  form  and  heterogeneous  in  their  population.  If  the 
rule  be  urged  in  all  its  strictness,  there  are  no  natural  boundaries 
except  where  a  peninsula  is  cut  ofF  from  the  main  land  by  a  chain  of 
mountains, — a  description  which  applies  only  to  Italy,  Spain,  and  the 
Scandinavian  peninsula  ;  and  its  application  in  these  cases  would 
deprive  Portugal,  the  smaller  states  of  Italy,  and  Norway  of  their 
independence.  The  last,  indeed,  h  as  lost  hers,  having  vainly  pro- 
tested against  her  union  with  Sweden. 

But  whatever  inconveniences  could  be  alleged  against  the  principle 
of  division  by  the  natural  features  of  the  earth,  still  graver  objections 
can  be  urged  against  the  rule  founded  on  the  consanguinity  of  the 
people  and  the  affinities  of  language.  The  races  which  have  peopled 
Europe  have  not  kept  together,  and  have  not  always  preserved  their 
purity  of  blood.  In  many  countries,  their  descendants  are  so  mingled 
together  that  any  separation  of  them  at  the  present  time  is  impossible. 
Hungary,  Switzerland,  the  shores  of  the  Rhine,  the  Netherlands,  are 
peopled  by  a  conglomerate  of  races,  speaking  a  multitude  of  lan- 
guages. OfFshoots  of  the  great  German  family  are  established  in 
Denmark,  Russia,  and  even  among  the  mountains  of  remote  Transyl- 
vania. The  population  of  France  is,  perhaps,  as  homogeneous  as 
that  of  any  country  in  Europe  ;  yet  Balbi  has  divided  them,  accord- 
ing to  the  dialects  which  they  use,  into  four  great  families, — the  Gallic, 
the  Germanic,  the  Celtic,  and  the  Basque.  When  the  cards  have 
thus  been  shnffied,  how  idle  it  is  to  dream  that  they  can  be  dealt  off"  in 
such  a  manner  as  to  bring  together  all  which  are  of  the  same  suit !  The 
question  also  arises,  what  shall  be  considered  as  constituting  diversity 
of  race  and  language.  The  original  banian  stock  sends  ofF  branches 
at  widely  distant  epochs,  each  of  which  subsequently  takes  independ- 
ent root  in  the  soil,  and  beholds  its  own  progeny  multiply  around  it. — 
If  we  go  back  to  the  origin  of  the  great  Indo-European  stock,  the 
population  of  more  than  half  the  countries  of  Europe  may  claim  to 
be  of  the  same  blood,  and  ask  to  be  constituted  into  one  great  nation. 
If  we  seek  a  common  ancestry  at  a  less  remote  period,  a  doubt  arises 

70  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

whether  the  Portuguese^  are  to  be  classed  with  the  Spaniards,  or  the 
Sicilians  with  the  Tuscans.  If  panslavism  is  made  to  include  Rus- 
sians, Servians,  Poles,  and  Wends,  pangermanism  may  claim  the 
Swedes,  Norwegians,  Danes,  and  Dutch,  as  well  as  the  inhabitants  of 
Germany  proper.  And  it  is  quite  as  difficult  to  tell  what  coustitutes 
a  distinct  language  as  to  designate  those  who  belong  to  the  same  race. 
If  all  the  dialects  and  various  forms  of  patois  are  taken  into  the  ac- 
count, Europe  has  nearly  as  many  languages  as  it  has  cities  ;  if  dia- 
lectic varieties  are  disregarded,  there  are  but  about  half  a  dozen  differ- 
ent tongues  spoken  on  the  Continent.  Hence,  when  wars  break  out 
in  which  these  questions  of  language  and  race  are  concerned,  it  is 
difficult  to  get  at  the  merits  of  the  case,  or  to  ascertain  which  party 
is  in  the  right. 

"  In  ordinary  cases,  the  contests  of  one  nation  with  another,  the 
complication  of  events,  the  principles  and  the  passions  which  are  in- 
volve ■!,  may  be  easily  understood  and  followed  out  into  their  develop- 
ments and  consequences.  A  common  knowledge  of  geography  and 
history  is  enough  to  enable  one  to  understand  the  origin  and  progress 
of  the  dispute,  the  point  in  question,  and  the  movements  of  the  bellige- 
rent parties.  The  will  of  Charles  II.,  the  pragmatic  sanction  of 
Charles  VI.,  and  the  declaration  of  Pilnitz,  show  clearly  what  caused 
the  war  of  the  Spanish  Succession,  the  Seven  Years'  war,  and  that  of 
the  French  Revolution.  But  in  order  to  have  a  clear  conception  of 
what  is  passing  at  this  moment  from  one  end  of  Europe  to  another, 
one  must  be  well  versed  not  only  in  geography  and  history,  but  also 
in  the  study  of  some  living  languages  which  very  few  persons  know 
any  thing  about.  It  is  a  contest  of  languages,  which,  after  it  had 
been  confined  for  a  long  time  to  the  academies  and  universities,  is  now 
breaking  the  general  peace  of  Europe. 

"  To  cite  only  a  few  examples  among  so  many,  how  can  we  under- 
stand the  connection  of  events  which  have  just  taken  place  in  the 
Austrian  empire,  unless  we  bravely  undertake  to  seek  the  origin  of 
them  in  a  Hungarian  dictionary,  or  a  Croatian  grammar  ?  How, 
without  having  an  intimate  knowledge  of  Germany,  can  we  explain 
why  the  Germans  of  the  liberal  or  republican  party  in  the  assembly 
at  Frankfort  sympathized  with  the  splendid  and  warlike  Magyars, 
while  the  (German)  Saxons  of  the  colonies  which  have  been  estab- 
lished, some  for  four,  and  others  for  seven,  centuries,  in  the  heart  of 
Transylvania,  united  with  their  neighbors,  the  Wallachians,  in  order 
to  make  common  cause  with  the  Croatians  ?  Finally,  without  a 
special  course  of  study  for  the  purpose,  can  we  fairly  appreciate  the 
unjust  quarrel  which  has  arisen  between  powerful  Germany  and  the 
inoffensive  monarchy  of  Denmark?  There  is  something  wholly  un- 
precedented in  the  situation  of  this  little  country,  which,  though  reck- 
oning hardly  2,200,000  inhabitants,  a  third  part  of  whom  have  made 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES   IN    HUNGARY.  71 

common  cause  with  its  enemies,  has  been  able  to  defend  its  cause  very 
logically  in  its  diplomatic  notes,  and  afterwards  very  heroically,  both 
by  land  and  sea,  against  a  nation  of  40,000,000  souls.  The  war  of 
Sleswick,  also,  for  more  than  one  reason,  ought  to  be  interesting  to 
France  ;  for  the  only  state  that  remained  faithful  to  us  at  the  epoch 
of  our  reverses  was  that  Denmark,  whose  brave  soldiers,  during  the 
year  1848,  defended  the  entrance  of  their  Cimbric  Chersonesus 
against  the  armies  and  the  partisan  corps  which  came  towards  Sles- 
wick Holstein  from  every  part  of  Germany.  This  strange  war  gives 
us  mournful  proof  of  what  may  be  effected  by  erudition  towards  per- 
plexing the  simplest  questions.  The  Danes  and  the  Germans,  these 
descendants  of  the  Cimbri  and  the  Teutones,  before  coming  into  a 
bloody  conflict  about  it,  had  long  disputed  whether  the  population  of 
Sleswick  contained-rnore  Germans  then  Danes.  It  was  a  question  of 
figures,  which  it  would  seem  that  statistics  might  easily  answer  ;  and 
yet,  up  to  this  day,  they  have  not  been  able  to  agree  about  it.  It  is 
certain,  however,  that  the  Danish  population  is  the  more  numerous, 
though  the  Germans  have  brought  into  the  computation,  on  their  own 
side,  the  27,000  Frisians  established  on  the  western  coast  of  Sleswick. 
But  let  them  submit  this  particular  point  of  dispute  to  German  and 
Danish  arbitrators,  and  it  will  be  demonstrated  to  them,  that  a  Frisian 
peasant  or  sailor  understands  neither  the  Danish  of  Copenhagen,  nor 
the  German  of  Hanover  and  Berlin." 

Here  in  America,  it  is  some  consolation  for  us  to  know,  that  if  we 
have  not  rightly  understood  the  progress  of  events  in  the  Old  World 
during  the  last  two  years,  and  have  often  had  the  mortification  of  find- 
ing out  that  we  had  bestowed  our  sympathies  on  the  wrong  side,  the 
diplomatists  of  Europe,  who  were  not  acquainted  with  as  many  lan- 
guages as  Cardiual  Mezzofanti,  or  had  not  the  philogical  skill  of  a 
Scaliger  or  an  Adelung,  have  been  equally  at  fault,  and  have  commit- 
ted  quite  as  gross  blunders.  Our  mistakes  arose  from  jumpiug  too  has- 
tily to  the  conclusion,  that  a  revolution  in  a  monarchy  necessarily  tend 
ed  to  the  establishment  of  a  republic ;  and  that,  of  two  parties  in  a 
war,  the  one  which  had  the  misfortune  to  obtain  the  assistance  either 
of  Austria  or  Russia  was  unquestionably  in  the  wrong.  And  truly, 
in  this  grand  imbroglio  of  races  and  languages,  this  Babel  of  war-cries 
for  Panslavism,  Magyarism,  United  Germany,  and  Italy  "  one  and  in- 
divisible," one  might  be  pardoned  for  adopting  any  rule,  however  rash- 
ly formed,  which  would  lead  to  some  decision  upon  the  merits  of  the 
case,  without  obliging  us  to  investigate  thoroughly  all  the  details  and 
complications  of  the  affair.  An  attempt  made  by  a  detached  portion  of 
one  of  the  great  races  of  Europe,  which  had  long  been  established  in  the 
midst  of  those  who  were  alien  to  it  in  blood  and  language,  to  vindicate 
its  nationality  and  resume  a  connection  with  its  parent  stock,  appears 

72  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

both  natural  and  just,  and  may  command  our  unthinking  sympathy 
and  respect.  But  it  becomes  evident  on  a  little  consideration,  in  view 
of  the  wide  and  long  continued  dispersion  of  these  races,  that  a  gen- 
eral reunion  of  them  could  not  be  effected  without  universal  confusion 
and  bloodshed.  The  plan  is  impracticable,  and  it  is  difficult  to  see 
what  practical  good  would  result  from  it,  even  if  it  could  be  carried 
out.  We  may  be  pardoned,  therefore,  for  viewing  with  some  suspicion 
and  dislike  the  conduct  of  agitators  who  have  recently  kindled  the 
flames  of  war  in  many  parts  of  the  continent  under  the  pretence  of 
uniting  those  who  had  been  long  ,and  unjustly  separated,  though  they 
also  claim  to  be  fighting  the  battles  of  political  freedem  and  national 
independence.  The  truth  is,  they  have  used  this  cry  for  a  union  of 
races  merely  as  a  convenient  means  of  popular  agitation,  with  a  view 
to  the  establishment  of  a  republic,  which  the  body  of  the  people  either 
dreaded  or  cared  little  about,  or  in  order  simply  to  overthrow  the  ex- 
isting government  and  to  profit  by  the  confusion  and  anarchy  which 
would  then  ensue. 

A  great  change  has  taken  place  in  Europe  since  the  commencement 
of  the  present  century,  as  to  the  dominant  principle  of  popular  move- 
ments and  political  crises.  The  material  interests  of  a  people,  their 
means  of  acquiring  wealth  and  comfort,  the  more  or  less  equal  distri- 
bution of  that  wealth,  and  their  general  well-being,  have  become  ob- 
jects of  so  great  importance  in  their  eyes,  that  all  proposed  changes 
in  society  and  government  are  judged  solely  by  their  probable  effects 
in  this  one  direction.  Men  now  coolly  count  the  cost,  the  comparative 
value  in  dollars  and  cents,  of  a  monarchy  and  a  republic.  Statesmen 
have  been  obliged  to  make  the  study  of  politics  second  to  that  of  po- 
litical economy.  Monarchs  strive  to  guard  their  thrones,  not  so  much 
by  the  number  and  efficiency  of  their  standing  armies,  as  by  the  pru- 
dent  management  of  their  finances,  and  by  their  successful  develop- 
ment of  the  agricultural,  commercial,  and  manufacturing  resources  of 
their  people.  They  build  railroads,  form  Customs -Unions  to  relieve 
trade  of  its  fetters,  establish  colonies  to  get  rid  of  surplus  population, 
and  thus  aim  to  acquire  or  regain  a  firm  basis  for  that  authority  which 
formerly  rested  only  on  prescription  and  military  force.  The  idea  of 
political  freedom,  of  choosing  their  own  governors  and  managing  their 
own  affairs,  is  no  longer  attractive  enough  to  lead  the  people,  if  it  be 
not  united  with  some  project  for  a  new  organization  of  society  and  a 
more  equal  enjoyment  of  the  goods  of  this  life.  Hence  the  rise  Of  so 
many  schemes  of  socialism  and  communism  to  cheer  on  the  multitude 
whose  enthusiasm  could  no  longer  be  excited  by  the  mere  name  of  a 
republic,  and  whom  no  acts  of  insult  or  oppression,  on  the  part  of  their 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  73 

rulers  had  goaded  into  rebellion.  The  idea  of  political  crusades  for  the 
establishment  of  one  form  of  government  or  another,  of  the  propagand- 
ism  of  free  or  despotic  institutions,  was  stretched  to  the  utmost,  and 
exhausted,  in  the  wars  of  the  first  French  Revolution  and  the  Holy 
Alliance.  The  revolution  of  1830  was  the  triumph  of  the  bourgeoisie, 
the  establishment  in  power  of  the  middle  classes,  of  bankers,  manu- 
facturers, tradesmen,  and  master  mechanics.  The  outbreak  of  Febru- 
ary, 1848,  was  a  revolt  of  the  indigent  classes,  the  proletaries,  against 
the  bourgoeisie ;  and  the  result  showed,  in  France  at  least,  the  great 
numerical  inferiority  of  the  former,  who  owed  their  temporary  success 
solely  to  their  recklessness,  to  the  fact  that  they  had  nothing  to  lose. — 
But  they  abused  their  victory  till  they  had  goaded  their  opponents  into 
the  display  of  equal  bravery  and  decision,  and  were  crushed  by  them 
in  the  insurrection  of  June,  when  the  National  Guard  fought  with  the 
energy  of  despair,  or  as  men  always  will  fight,  when  they  know  that 
their  property  and  their  homes  are  at  stake. 

We  need  not  stop  to  inquire  what  the  result  of  the  revolutions  of 
1848  in  Europe  might  have  been,  had  not  the  commencement  of  them 
in  France  been  so  immediately  ruinous  to  the  material  prosperity  of 
the  country.  As  it  was,  the  experiment  in  Paris  was  decisive  for  the 
whole  continent.  There,  republicanism  was  associated  with  commer- 
cial distress  and  bankruptcy,  with  the  disorder  of  the  national  finances, 
the  suffering  of  the  laboring  classes  and  a  general  feeling  of  insecurity 
among  the  holders  of  property.*  The  Belgians,  the  Germans,  and 
the  Italians  were  scared  from  the  repetition  of  an  undertaking  so  dis- 
astrous. Those  who  had  hitherto  been  foremost  in  inculcating  revo- 
lutionary doctrines  now  strove  to  quench  the  enthusiasm  they  had  ex- 
cited. The  Germans  at  Heidelberg,  on  the  28th  of  March,  under  the 
guidance  of  the  most  popular  leaders  of  the  liberal  party,  solemnly 
adopted  the  example  of  England  and  a  monarchical  polity.  "  Do  not," 
said  Welcker,  one  of  their  ablest  orators  and  statesmen,  "  do  not  mis- 
take license  for  liberty,  nor  suppose  that,  because  much  must  be  re- 
modelled, all  must  be  overturned.  Let  us  advance,  but  steadily  and 
thoughtfully ;  let  us  lay  the  foundation  of  our  freedom,  a  national  par- 
liament; let  us  be  citizens  of  one  united  country  ;  bid  do  not  think 
such  an  object  can  be  attained  by  proclaiming  a  republic."  He  was 
heard  with  applause,  and  his  advice  was  adopted  by  acclamation. — 
The  king  of  the  Belgians  wisely  and  magnanimously  offered  to  leave 
the  throne  and  the  kingdom,  if  his  people  were  tired  of  royalty ;  but 

*  The  same  occurred  in  Hungary !    The  confusion  and  distress  which  were  caused  by 
the  Revolution  cannot  be  sufficiently  described. 

74  THE    WAU    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

they  refused  his  proffered  abdication,  and  drove  back  with  spirit  the  in- 
sane hand  of  French  propagandists  whom  Ledru  Rollin  had  sent 
across  the  frontier.  Milan  and  Venice  elected  Charles  Albert  to  be 
their  king,  after  they  had  expelled  the  Austrians.  The  Sicilians  offer- 
ed the  throne  of  their  island  to  a  son  of  the  same  monarch  before 
their  former  sovereign  again  reduced  them  to  subjection.  The  Mag- 
yars did  not  repudiate  their  emperor  till  their  own  subjects,  who  had 
been  their  patient  vassals  of  eight  centuries,  repudiated  them  ;  and 
then  they  declared  the  throne  vacant  only  because  Ferdinand  had 
taken  part  with  the  rebels. 

To  keep  up  the  revolutionary  movement,  then,  it  was  necessary  to 
find  some  object  of  desire,  some  principle  of  excitement,  to  take  the 
place  of  a  hatred  of  royalty ;  and  this  was  supplied  by  the  project  of 
a  union  of  all  the  branches  of  each  nationality,  and  the  consequent 
establishment  of  greater  national  power  made  up  of  more  homogeneous 
materials.  Mo  matter  if  the  separation  had  been  so  long  continued* 
and  the  changes  of  dialect  had  become  so  great,  that  the  people  them- 
selves were  hardly  conscious  of  their  relationship.  It  was  easy  to 
teach  them  that  they  had  a  common  ancestry,  and  that  they  spoke 
what  was  formerly  one  language.  How  long  the  instinct  or  prejudice 
of  race  may  continue,  when  fostered  by  an  unequal  distribution  of 
political  influence  and  by  an  obstinate  adherence  of  each  tribe  to  its 
ancestral  language,  is  shown  by  the  mutual  jealousy  and  hostility  of 
the  French  and  English  in  Canada  down  to  the  present  day.  That 
these  hostile  feelings,  however,  may  be  made  to  disappear  under  the 
soothing  influence  of  a  government  which  all  are  equally  interested  in 
maintaining,  is  proved  by  our  own  rapid  success  in  assimilating  with 
our  own  stock  the  Spaniards  and  French  who  first  peopled  Florida 
and  Louisiana.  But  if  either  race  is  led  to  assume  an  antagonistic 
position  towards  the  other,  through  an  inequality  of  political  or  social 
advantages,  the  alienation  in  blood  and  language  constantly  aggravates 
the  evil,  as  it  perpetually  reminds  one  party  of  its  subjection  and  the 
other  of  its  superiority.  The  marks  of  race  become  irritating  badges 
of  distinctions  that  are  assumed  to  be  unjust  because  they  are  ineffacea- 
ble, no  degree  of  personal  merit  or  ability  being  competent  to  get  rid 
of  them.  If  these  distinctions  have  existed  for  a  long  period  of  time 
without  contest,  habit  may  riave  so  inured  the  people  to  them,  that 
they  may  not  disturb  the  public  tranquillity.  Still  they  exist  as  latent 
causes  of  dissension,  which  an  expert  agitator  at  any  time  may  call 
into  dangerous  activity.  And  if  other  events  should  throw  the  country 
into  commotion,  or  light  up  in  it  the  flames  of  civil  war,  these  hereditary 
motives  of  hostility  will  soon  be  awakened  to  aggravate  the  feud,  and 


render  it  perpetual.  A  few  years  ago,  the  suffering  poor  of  Ireland 
were  probably  ignorant,  for  the  most  part,  of  the  fact,  that  the  English 
were  aliens  to  them  in  blood  ;  O'Connell  reminded  them  of  it,  and  now 
the  natural  enmity  of  the  Saxon  and  the  Celt  tends  more  strongly, 
perhaps,  than  all  other  causes  united  to  keep  up  the  chronic  diseases 
of  that  unhappy  population.  The  case  of  the  Sclavonians  and  Wal- 
lachians  in  Hungary  against  the  Magyars  is  a  still  more  striking  instance 
of  the  bitter  hostility  that  may  be  suddenly  excited  in  this  manner,  the 
consequences  of  which  will  affect  the  politics  of  eastern  Europe  for 
centuries  to  come. 

Before  looking  more  particularly  at  this  case,  however,  let  us  glance 
at  the  results  of  the  movement  in  Germany,  the  object  of  which  was  to 
unite  the  several  branches  and  determine  the  extent  of  the  German 
nationality.  The  provinces  of  Alsace  and  Lorraine,  whose  annexation 
to  France  is  of  comparatively  recent  date,  still  have  the  German 
element  predominant  in  their  population  ;  and  some  of  the  orators  and 
publicists  at  Frankfort  did  not  hesitate,  on  this  account,  to  express  a 
wish  that  they  might  be  again  united  to  their  fatherland.  But  France 
was  a  power  not  to  be  lightly  provoked,  and  the  people  of  these 
provinces,  whether  French  or  German,  manifested  no  desire  for  a 
change;  therefore,  no  steps  were  taken  towards  the  fulfilment  of  this 
project.  The  remarks  of  M.  de  Bourgoing  upon  this  subject  are  very 
sensible ;  and  as  the  advice  which  he  gives  is  not  wholly  inapplicable 
to  the  opinions  entertained  by  many  on  this  side  of  the  Atlantic,  we 
will  translate  a  portion  of  them  for  the  benefit  of  our  readers. 

"Those  who  now  ask  for  a  cession  of  Alsace  and  Lorraine  to  Ger- 
many, no  longer  express  the  feelings  of  hatred  and  vengeance  which 
animated  the  allies  of  1815,  when  they  proposed  to  take  away  from 
us  this  part  of  our  territory,  and  to  restrict  our  frontier  to  the  line  of 
the  Vosges  mountains.  They  now  simply  declare,  that  the  several 
nationalities  throughout  Europe  ought  to  be  reconstituted,  and  that 
every  people  ought  to  obey  a  sovereign  of  their  own  race,  and  laws 
written  in  their  own  language.  One  of  the  most  distinguished  diplo- 
matists of  Germany,  Baron  d'Arnim,  lately  said  to  me,  '  If  it  is  true,  as 
one  of  your  writers  has  maintained,  that  the  style  is  the  man,  the 
language  ought  to  constitute  the  nation/  According  to  the  same 
system,  it  is  added,  that  the  unity  of  Italy  ought  to  be  established,  and 
that  it  must  finally  triumph  over  all  the  obstacles  which  now  prevent  it. 

"  But  in  our  sincere  and  benevolent  impartiality,  we  think  every 
nation  ought  to  be  allowed  to  judge  for  itself,  so  far  as  its  own  interests 
are  concerned,  this  great  question  of  our  day,  the  question  of  national 
unity.  It  is  for  the  Italians  themselves  to  decide,  whether  their  wishes 
for  the  establishment  of  a  commpn  country  are  very  unanimous  and 
very  strong.     Thus  far,  the  unitarian  principle,  a  powerful  auxiliary  of 

76  THE    WAR    OV    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

anarchical  radicalism,  has  produced  in  this  country  only  the  disasters 
of  the  Piedmontese  army,  so  worthy  of  a  better  fate,  the  misfortunes 
of  Tuscany,  the  ruin,  the  despair,  of  the  capital  of  the  Christian  world, 
and  finally,  in  place  of  union,  the  danger  of  a  separation  of  Sicily ; 
hitherto,  these  have  been,  in  Italy,  the  only  consequences  of  the  foolish 
doctrine  of  nationalities  classified  by  their  languages. 

" '  The  Sclavonian  unity'  continue  these  political  philologists,  '  for 
which  we  have  already  found  a  word,  panslavism,  is  making  rapid 
advances  towards  its  accomplishment,  t German  unity  is  establishing 
itself  at  this  moment,  with  some  difficulty  it  is  true,  but  time  is  needed 
for  all  things;  sooner  or  later,  it  will  crush  the  obstacles  that  now 
hinder  its  progress.  Scandinavian  unity  also  gives  signs  of  life.  The 
principle  of  this  reconstruction  of  states  according  to  the  races  which 
people  them  exists  in  the  nature  of  things ;  it  is  inevitable.' 

"  We  acknowledge  that,  in  certain  cases,  this  principle  admits  of  a 
just  application.  We  shall  applaud  what  in  it  is  reasonable  and  possi- 
ble, we  shall  blame  what  is  unjust,  and  we  must  be  permitted  to  doubt 
what  is  exaggerated  and  chimerical.  That  the  various  nations  should 
endeavor  to  enfranchise  themselves,  and  to  form  groups  and  alliances, 
according  to  their  convenience  and  their  affinities  of  race,  is  an  attempt 
in  which  our  country  may  well  feel  some  interest,  provided  that  this 
sj'mpathy  docs  not  lead  us  to  lavish  on  other  lands  its  finances  and  the 
blood  of  its  children,  in  order  to  help  the  cause  of  foreigners,  without 
having  any  thing  to  gain  by  it,  not  even  gratitude.  It  is  not  fitting 
that  a  government  which  professes,  above  all  others,  to  be  the  defender 
and  the  representative  of  the  interests  and  rights  of  the  people,  should 
send  off  an  army  to  take  sides  in  a  quarrel  which  is  purely  Hungarian, 
German,  or  Italian.  The  error  of  the  partisans  of  this  new  system,  of 
the  classification  of  races,  evidently  consists  in  transforming  into  an 
absolute  principle  a  rule,  which,  as  good  sense  and  experience  clearly 
show,  can  be  applied  only  with  numerous  limitations.  Undoubtedly, 
a  people  enslaved  and  trodden  under  foot  by  a  foreign  race  have  a 
right  to  endeavor  to  regain  their  independence  ;*  but  when  the  fraction 
of  a  nationality  finds  on  the  territory  of  another  people  its  equal  rights 
firmly  guarantied,  and  is  treated  with  sentiments  of  real  fraternity,  it 
would  be  a  criminal  and  insane  act  to  seek  to  entice  it  into  a  separa- 
tion. A  certain  number  of  these  attempts  at  separation  are  entitled  at 
least  to  our  sympathy  and  sincere  good  wishes ;  others  ought  to  be 
boldly  censured,  either  as  premature  designs,  or  as  romantic  extrava 

If  judged  by  the  standard  that  is  here  laid  down,  we  cannot  avoid 
censuring  almost  the  first  act  of  the  German  Unitarian  party.  To 
make  the  limits  of  their  united  country  as  wide  as  possible,  and  to 
secure  an  important  maritime  position  on  the  Elbe,  and  near  the  mouth 
of  the  Baltic,  they  committed  a  flagrant  aggression  on  the  rights  of 

*  This  has  been  done  by  the  Sclavonians,  Wallachians,  and  other  races  in  Hungary. 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  77 

Denmark.  The  preliminary  parliament  assembled  at  Frankfort,  at  the 
end  of  March,  voted  unanimously,  that  Sleswick  and  Holstein  should 
be  invited  to  send  deputies  to  the  grand  parliament  which  was  to  fol- 
low, as  if  both  these  duchies  incontestibly  belonged  to  the  German 
confederation.  One  of  them,  Holstein,  unquestionably  did  belong  to 
it,  though  subjeqt  to  the  king  of  Denmark  as  Duke  of  Sleswick  Hol- 
stein ;  the  other,  Sleswick,  is  as  unquestionably  a  fief  of  the  crown  of 
Denmark,  and  its  only  connection  with  Germany  rests  on  its  alleged 
inseparable  union  with  Holstein.  The  population  of  the  duchy  in 
dispute  being  composed  in  about  equal  proportion  of  Germans  and 
Danes,  the  principle  of  division  by  races  affords  no  solution  of  the 
problem  ;  nay,  it  was  the  encroaching  spirit  of  the  liberal  Unitarian 
Germans,  or  the  ambition  of  Prussia,  which  was  the  sole  cause  of  the 
difficulty.  The  Danes  supported  the  claims  of  their  government  with 
much  spirit.  A  public  meeting,  held  at  Copenhagen  on  the  twentieth 
of  March,  passed  resolutions  declaring  that  the  proposed  union  of  the 
Duchies  with  Germany  would  be  a  "  dereliction  of  the  rights  of  the 
Danish  crown  over  Sleswick,  to  which  the  king  has  no  right  to  submit, 
nor  can  the  Danish  nation  ever  assent  to  it  ;"  and  that  the  people 
would  assist  the  king  with  all  the  means  in  their  power  to  enable  him 
to  fulfil  his  duties  as  a  sovereign,  and  to  maintain  the  integrity  of  his 
territory.  It  was  evident  that  the  people,  and'riot  merely  the  govern- 
ments, on  both  sides  were  arrayed  against  each  other,  and  that  the 
mutual  jealousy  of  the  two  races  was  the  primary  cause  of  the  quar- 
rel. Both  parties  disclaimed  republicanism,  both  offered  free  and 
liberal  constitutions  to  the  countries  in  dispute.  The  war  was  com- 
menced by  a  Prussian  army,  which,  on  the  sixth  of  April,  invaded  the 
territory  with  the  avowed  object  of  driving  the  Danes  out  of  it,  and 
annexing  it  to  Germany.  The  Danes  defended  themselves  with  great 
gallantry  and  various  success  for  several  months,  when  it  appewefi 
that  they  were  overmatched,  and  both  Sweden  and  Russia  actively- 
interfered  in  their  behalf.  An  armistice  was  then  concluded,  August 
26th,  which  in  fact  determined  nothing,  but  caused  the  temporary 
withdrawal  both  of  the  Danish  and  the  German  federal  troops,  and 
allowed  the  war-wasted  country  time  for  repose.  Within  a  few 
months,  the  war  has  broken  out  anew  ;  but  as  Germany  has  now  lost 
her  high-raised  hopes  of  a  fusion  of  all  her  states  into  one,  it  is  not 
likely  to  be  of  long  duration.* 

The  next  outbreak  caused  by  the  new  principle  of  a  division  of 

*  This  prophecy  of  M.  Bourgoing  ie  punctually  realized. 

78  THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY. 

races  took  place  in  that  part  of  unhappy,  dismembered  Poland,  which 
had  been  annexed  to  Prussia.  The  Grand  Duchy  of  Posen,  as  this 
part  is  called,  has  a  population  of  about  1,200,000,  of  whom  about 
two  thirds  are  Poles,  and  the  remainder  are  Germans.  The  low  social 
condition  of  the  former,  the  great  bulk  of  whom,  at  the  time  of  their 
annexation,  were  in  a  state  of  pisedial  slavery,  and  were  "  as  ignorant 
and  brutalized  as  can  well  be  imagined,"  caused  them  to  be  treated  as 
a  depressed  and  inferior  race  by  the  Germans,  and  a  smothered  feel- 
ing of  irritation  and  hostility  had,  consequently,  long  existed  between 
the  two  races.  After  the  revolution  of  March  had  taken  place  at 
Berlin,  a  deputation  of  Poles  came  thither  and  obtained  a  promise 
from  the  king  that  the  Duchy  should  be  divided  into  two  portions,  the 
one  Polish  and  the  other  German,  each  of  which  should  have  a  sepa- 
rate local  administration.  Their  countrymen,  also,  who  had  been 
imprisoned  for  political  offences,  were  liberated  ;  and  one  of  these, 
Mieroslawski,  a  noted  agitator,  was  carried  about  the  streets  by  them 
in  a  sort  of  triumphal  procession.  Some  delay  occurred  in  the  ful- 
filment of  the  king's  promise,  which  afforded  a  sufficient  pretence  for 
a  revolt,  that  broke  out  iu  April.  All  the  Poles  rose  in  arms,  and 
turned  with  savage  fury  upon  their  German  neighbors,  who  had  so 
long  oppressed  and  insulted  them.  This  conduct  provoked  retalia- 
tion, and  atrocities  were  committsd  on  both  sides  that  would  have  dis- 
graced our  North  American  Indians.  Mieroslawski  led  the  army  of 
his  insurgent  countrymen,  and  fought  several  indecisive  battles  Math  the 
Prussians.  Thelatter  at  length  poured  an  overwhelming  force  into  the 
province  ;  and  after  a  desperate  struggle,  the  Poles  were  compelled  to 
surrender,  and  their  leaders  were  imprisoned  or  sent  out  of  the  country. 
The  promised  division  of  the  territory  between  the  two  races  then  took 
place,  care  being  taken,  of  course,  to  bring  all  the  strong  and  impor- 
tant places,  the  city  of  Posen  itself  included,  into  the  German  dis- 
trict, and  to  leave  very  few  Germans  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the 
Poles,  though  many  of  the  latter  remained  under  their  old  masters. — 
And  the  division  itself  was  made  only  for  the  purposes  of  the  local 
administration  ;  the  whole  province  continued  to  form  part  of  the 
Prussian  dominions.  Favorably  as  the  line  had  been  drawn  for  the 
dominant  race,  and  by  the  Prussian  government  too,  who  were  most 
interested  in  preserving  the  ascendency  of  the  bulk  of  their  subjects 
in  this  quarter,  the  parliament  of  united  Germany  was  still  jealous  lest 
the  interest  of  the  Father-land  had  not  been  sufficiently  cared  for.— - 
They  would  only  provisionally  acknowledge  the  boundary  line,  and 
they  passed  a  resolution,  "  That  the  National  Assembly  express  to 
the  Prussian  Governments  confident  expectation,  that  the  nationality 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  79 

of  the  Germans  in  the  Polish  part  of  Posen  will  be  protected  under 
every  circumstance." 

These  two  instances,  the  war  in  Sleswick  and  that  in  Posen,  show 
that  the  newly  awakened  spirit  of  German  unity  and  nationality  is  no 
more  regardful  of  the  rights  of  other  races,  no  less  ambitious  and  en- 
croaching in  its  policy,  and  no  more  favorable  to  the  establishment  of 
free  institutions  throughout  Europe,  than  the  several  despotic  sove- 
reigns of  German}'  were  during  the  flourishing  days  of  the  Holy 
Alliance.  There  was  a  party  of  republicans  among  the  German 
Unionists  ;  but  these  were  so  factious  and  turbulent,  that  the  Central 
Government  repressed  them,  once  and  again,  with  a  strong  hand. — 
The  democrat  leaders,  Hecker  and  Struve,  collected  a  large  body  of 
insurgents,  who  were  defeated  by  the  troops  of  the  General  Diet  on 
the  20th  of  April,  Struve  being  made  prisoner,  while  his  associate  fled 
to  Basle.  A  still  more  formidable  insurrection  of  the  radicals  took 
place  in  Frankfort,  on  the  20th  of  September  in  the  same  year,  when 
the  Prince  Lichnowski,  one  of  the  most  eloquent  members  of  the 
Diet,  and  Major  A.uerswald,  were  murdered.  Barricades  were 
erected  in  the  streets,  a  deputation  who  went  to  parley  with  the  insur- 
gents were  fired  at,  and  the  revolt  was  not  subdued  till  artillery  was 
brought  into  action,  and  many  lives  were  lost.  These  disturbances,  of 
course,  increased  the  general  dislike  and  fear  of  republicanism,  as  they 
showed  that  the  people  were  not  prepared  for  it,  and  that  it  was 
necessary  to  increase  rather  than  to  diminish  the  restrictive  power  of 
government.  German  patriotism  was  consequently  limited  to  the 
single  object  of  uniting  the  several  states  of  Germany  into  one,  or  at 
least,  of  binding  them  together  into  a  closer  confederacy  than  had  yet" 
been  established.  Subsequent  events  have  proved  that  even  this 
project  cannot  be  accomplished;  and  the  only  effect  of  the  prolonged 
agitation  for  this  purpose  has  been  to  excite  the  national  feeling  of 
rival  races,  and  to  cause  a  great  effusion  of  blood  in  local  and  profit- 
less  contests. 

But  the  most  lamentable  consequences  of  stirring  up  this  rivalry  of 
different  nationalities,  have  been  displayed  in  Hungary  ;  and  as  we 
have  already  sufficiently  reviewed  them,  we  are  hastening  to  the  close 
of  our  task.  We  will  finally,  but  earnestly,  repeat  what  we  have 
already  said :  it  was  only  the  restless  and  domineering  spirit  of  the 
untitled  Magyar  nobility,  aggressive  and  fiery  in  temperament,  and 
panting  not  so  much  for  absolute  independence  as  for  entire  control  of 
the  more  patient,  industrious,  and  unambitious  races,  Sclavonians, 
Germans,  Wallachians,  &c,  by  whom  they  are  surrounded,  which 
kindled  the  recent  war,  and  so  conducted  it,  as  to  arm  every  one  of 

80  THE    WAR    OF    RACES   IN    HUNGARY. 

these  races  against  themselves  ;  and  thus,  in  spite  of  their  own 
matchless  bravery  and  enthusiasm,  and  the  misplaced  sympathy  of 
the  republican  party  throughout  Europe  and  America,  to  bring  down 
upon  their  heads  the  united  powers  of  Austria  and  Russia,  and  finally 
to  sink  in  the  unequal  struggle. 

Had  they  begun  by  the  abrogation  of  the  enormous  and  unjust 
privileges  of  their  own  order,  and  the  insolent  supremacy  of  their 
race  ;  had  they  offered  confederation  and  equality  of  political  rights  to 
Croat  and  Slowack,  Saxon  and  Wallachian,  their  united  strength 
might  have  dashed  in  pieces  the  Austrian  empire,  and  the  Russian 
troops  would  never  have  crossed  their  borders.*  But  they  aimed  to 
procure  dissimilar  and  incompatible  objects ;  to  retain  the  economical 
and  political  advantages  of  a  union  with  Austria,  without  submitting 
to  any  control,  or  tendering  an}'  equivalent ;  to  be  admitted  to  all  the 
privileges  enjoyed  by  all  the  hereditary  states,  without  bearing  any  por- 
tion of  their  burdens;  to  vindicate  their  own  independence  against  the 
empire,  but  to  ciWithe  Croatiansand  Wallachians  for  daring  to  claim 
independence  of  the  Magyars  ;  to  "  hunt  out  those  proscribed  traitors 
in  their  lair,"  to  stifle  the  rebellion  in  south  Hungary  ;  to.  lay  waste 
with  fire  and  sword  the  Saxon  colonies  in  Transylvania,  and  then 
evoke  the  indignation  of  Europe  against  the  interference  of  Russia, 
whose  troops  entered  Hermanstadt  at  the  urgent  entreaty  of  these 
Saxon  colonists,  in  order  to  save  them  from  utter  destruction  by  the 
merciless  Szeklers  and  Magyars.  By  such  barbarous  and  inhuman 
dealings,  they  had  provoked  too  many  enemies.  Of  the  half  dozen 
races  which  make  up  the  mixed  population  of  the  Austrian  empire, 
every  one  was  hostile  to  them.  Their  stupid  pride  and  indomitable 
obstinacy  prevented  them  from  making  any  attempt  at  reconciliation,-]- 
and  Gorgey,  their  last  and  ablest  commander,  rather  than  unite  his 
troops  with  those  of  Dembinsky,  who  had  made  some  concessions 
and  promises  to  the  Sclavonians,  and  thereby  partially  recruited  his 
ranks  from  them,  preferred  to  surrender  his  whole  army  without  con- 
ditions to  the  generous  and  benevolent  Russians. 

Thus  the  Magyars  have  fallen,  and  there  are  few  to  lament  their 
fate  but  the  republicans  of  France  and  Germany,  and  the  refugee 
Poles,  who  were  their  only  foreign  allies.  They  have  fallen  in  an 
unwise  attempt  to  preserve  their  ancient  feudal  institutions,  their  su- 
premacy as  a  race,  and  their  national  independence  against  the 
reforms  demanded  by  the  spirit  of  the  age,  against  the  equality  of 

*  They  could  say  :  "  Rajta  Magyar  rajta  :  jon  az  ellenseg  a  kutja  fajta.1 
+  The  Magyar's  Exalted  Horn  says :  "Aut  Csjaar  ;  aut  nihil." 

THE    WAR    OF    RACES    IN    HUNGARY.  81 

political  rights,  which  could  no  longer  be  refused  to  their  ancient  sub- 
jects, and  against  the  union  with  Austria,  which  is  a  necessity  of  their 
geographical  position.  And  we  ought  to  remember,  once  more,  that 
the  disgraceful  revolution  of  the  Magyars  had  caused  inexpressible 
evils  to  all  the  inhabitants  of  Hungary.  By  this  revolution,  the  most 
precious  things  of  the  kingdom  disappeared ;  the  inestimable  crown, 
and  other  insignia  regia,  have  been  robbed ;  the  entire  gold  and  silver 
of  the  nation  carried  away,  and  the  money  of  rags,  in  the  place  of 
gold  and  silver,  was  substituted ;  but,  after  a  very  short  time,  it  has 
been  declared  that  the  paper  money  has  no  value  at  all.  "  These, 
and  other  dreadful  things,  had  plunged  the  whole  people  into  the 
deepest  misery,  consternation  and  despair,  until  they  were  relieved 
by  the  surprising  liberalities  of  the  Emperor  of  Austria." 

Printed  at  the  Office  of  the  Daily  Advertiser— Newark,  N.  J.